The 2021 circuit for professionals and amateurs with a handicap of two or better has attracted Scottish golf magazine bunkered as its title sponsor on the back of the tour’s successful launch by Tait last year to provide welcome respite from the initial impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on Scottish golfers..
A total of 462 golfers took part in the eight events on the pilot schedule, with the winners of each tournament playing in a grand final, won, believe it or not, by Tait himself, at Dumbarnie Links in October.
This year’s schedule has been increased to 12 events, with the campaign getting underway at three-time Scottish Open host venue Castle Stuart next month.
Tait, a former European Tour professional, is thrilled to see his concept building momentum but is preparing for the new campaign with a heavy heart following the recent sudden death of his older brother, John, following a massive heart attack.
“To be honest, I didn’t know pain like this existed,” Tait, the UK managing director for GolPhin for Kids, told The Scotsman. “John wasn’t just my big brother, he was my best pal and soul mate.
“Of all the hundreds of messages I received, one of them said ‘if there are two closer brothers in the world, then I’d love to meet them’.
“That kind of summed it up for me. We spoke on the phone two-three times every day and have done, pretty much all our lives. He’s been there for me always and I couldn’t have wished for a better big bro.
“To be taken so suddenly at 58 was such a shock and I’ll truly never get over this. I doubted myself recently as to how I was going to pick myself up and try to move on.
“However, he was so proud of everything I do and was so interested in everything I was getting up to, so I’ve realised the last thing John would want is me crumbling into a ball and not getting on with things.
“So I’m going to throw myself even more into my job with GolPhin for kids, more after dinner speaking, play more golf and make the bunkered Get Back to Golf Tour even bigger and better.”
Hayston, Arbroath Links, Prestwick St Nicholas, Blairgowrie, Scotscraig, Murrayshall, The Carrick, Strathmore, Montrose, Duddingston and Ladybank are the other courses signed up after Castle Stuart, with the grand final back at Dumbarnie Links at the end of October.
“John was the first person I ran the idea past last summer about the tour when we were in the middle of the pandemic,” added Tait, a popular BBC Radio Scotland golf commentator.
“He absolutely loved it and told me to go for it, hence I can’t and won’t let the big man down. With the first event of the year just around the corner at Castle Stuart Links, this is the perfect tonic for me to get stuck into things and I have the comfort of knowing John will be with me every step of the way in everything I do.”