Stephen Gallacher’s coach is predicting the Bathgate man’s “fairytale” Ryder Cup appearance will spark an exciting new chapter in his career.
Alan McCloskey believes the 39-year-old’s presence among the cream of European golf at Gleneagles is a stepping stone to reaching his full potential.
“It is a phenomenal story because Stephen is nearly 40 years of age, it’s his 18th year on Tour, and you would have thought if it was going to happen for him it would have happened a long time ago,” said McCloskey.
“He was always classed as a golfer with lots of potential but until now it has not really happened for him. But now here he is, a Scot, in the Ryder Cup in Scotland – it’s a fairytale.”
McCloskey, the PGA pro at Bothwell Castle in Lanarkshire, has worked with Gallacher for just under three years, complementing the swing advice he received from legendary guru Bob Torrance until his sad passing away during this year’s Open.
“Although Stephen has been round the block for ten years, he is ready for it,” added McCloskey. “This will be the making of his golf career. I do believe he will go on to better and bigger things and will fulfil the potential he’s shown all those years ago.
“I’ve no doubts about him. He is hugely excited about the whole thing. All his golf career he’s been destined for the big scene and this is the start of it.”
McCloskey, who also works with Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson, has changed Gallacher’s ball flight to give a steeper angle of attack.
“The biggest thing we’ve worked on his ball flight,” he revealed. “His ball flight angle into the green was too shallow.
“There was a perception that his putting was an issue but there was nothing wrong with that – he just wasn’t getting close enough to the flag because the angle was too shallow so he was either too short or too long.”
Gleneagles will be McCloskey’s first visit to a Ryder Cup, where he will have unique access inside the ropes as Europe strive to retain the coveted trophy.
“It’s going to be fantastic to see it up close, I’ve been to all the majors but there is something special about the Ryder Cup,” he said.
“I think it is going to be huge for the country and to have someone like Stephen Gallacher, who is hugely popular with the crowd, just adds to the spectacle.
“It would have been disappointing had we not had any Scot in the team.”