Gallacher happy to help youngster correct his swing

Stephen Gallacher was happy to give swing advice after one teenager arrived feeling despondent

Stephen Gallacher was happy to give swing advice after one teenager arrived feeling despondent

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He’s been taught by some of golf’s top coaches over the years, including both Bob Torrance and Adam Hunter, neither of whom, sadly, are still with us.

Now Stephen Gallacher is relishing the chance to pass on some of that knowledge to the next generation of Lothians golfers.

Like Paul Lawrie, Gallacher hasn’t just put his name to a junior foundation, as was evident recently at Macdonald Cardrona near Peebles.

The three-time European Tour winner was on the first tee from early in the morning to greet competitors then watch them start their opening round in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy and Vase.

He was also there at the finish to hand out the prizes. But it was something he did in between that really showed what the 41-year-old is giving back to his sport.

In a casual conversation with Andrew Benson, one of the competitors, Gallacher discovered that the West Lothian teenager was struggling with his game.

Shortly afterwards, he had Benson out on the practice area hitting balls and an experience that money can’t buy sorted him out in a jiffy.

“Andrew was a bit despondent about his game but he’s a lovely lad and I was delighted to be able to pass on some advice,” said Gallacher of a story that left him feeling every bit as satisfied as Benson.

“I’ve been surrounded all my life by coaches like Bob Torrance, Adam Hunter, Alan McCloskey and Ian Rae – all guys who’d stand there watching if you wanted to hit balls for 12 hours.

“There was nothing wrong with young Andrew’s swing and I’ve been there myself before. It was as simple as going through the basics. When he changed his set up, he started to hit it a bit better.”

Gallacher, currently sidelined due to a recurring hand problem, is delighted with the success of his foundation, which is run by former Scottish Golfer of the Year Scott Knowles helped by Stuart Johnston.

Featuring the top juniors in Scotland, the event at Macdonald Cardrona is the biggest on a busy schedule and it was given the thumbs up on this occasion by the aforementioned Lawrie.

The 1999 Open champion was there to see his youngest son, Michael, compete and told Gallacher it had been a “great event”.

“I love it,” admitted Gallacher of being at such tournaments. “I stood on the first tee from 6.40am to 11.30am watching all the boys and girls tee off – it was brilliant.

“You see the same people week in, week out and you only need to look at Sandy Scott, who won it last year and has now just been picked for the Scottish men’s team.

“I’m hoping one day that a youngster who has started off playing our flag events does the same thing.

“The majority of the youngsters in these events are playing so that they can test themselves against better players, which is the only way to get better.

“I would love to put two of these events on and it was brilliant to see a separate girls’ competition added this year. The standard in that was phenomenal too, which was good to see.”