Stephen Gallacher is heading into a big run of events with a new caddie – his 17-year-old son Jack.
The pair will join forces for the first time in next week’s BMW International Open in Germany after Gallacher split with John Dempster following his last outing in the Italian Open.
Jack will also be on the bag for the French, Irish and Scottish Opens, all Rolex Series events each worth $7 million, and there’s a chance the link up could become permanent.
“I was looking for a caddie and Jack has just finished school and, having spoken to my coach, Alan McCloskey, about it, we came to the conclusion it was a good move to get Jack on the bag,” Gallacher told the Edinburgh Evening News.
“Not only is he my son but he knows my game inside out and has travelled to events with me for years so I don’t see it being a problem for him at all. It will be the physical side of the job that he will get used to more than anything.
“We get on well together, he’s a good golfer himself and it will be good experience for him all round. I think it is going to be a great partnership for both of us.
“He said to me, ‘I quite fancy it’ and when I heard that, I said, ‘why not, let’s do it’. He’s doing my next four events and if it works well, then we will just carry on together from there.”
Jack has won the Bathgate Boys’ Open, Kingsfield club championship and also played for Lothians in the recent Scottish Boys Area Championship.
“Keeping it in the family is nice,” added Stephen. “One of my former caddies, Ryan McGuigan, has been great with him with a checklist to make sure he is organised. Another of my former caddies, Damian Moore, is meeting him on Saturday as well to run through a few things with him.
“You need experienced people like that to help when you are starting out, though Jack has been at golf tournaments with me now for years.
“He’s been at majors and, of course, the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. He knows what he needs to do, but it will take him a bit of time to fully learn the ropes as a caddie.
“My first caddie was Eric Mackay, who did a cracking job for me, and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a lot of good people over the years. But circumstances change and now I’m looking forward to the next chapter.
“The good thing is that, apart from Ballyliffin for the Irish Open, the courses I’ve got coming up are all ones I know well. Jack has been with me at Gullane and he’s also played there. He’s been with me to Le Golf National in France plenty of times and I’ve played Cologne a lot.
“He’s looking forward to getting in the gym and bulking up a bit. It’s making him grow up pretty quick as he’s been away opening up a bank account.
“He’ll learn some good life skills travelling the world and we are both looking forward to it. I am sure we will do well together.”