Allyn Dick is confident he can keep titles in his sights after a shocking revelation about his vision turned him into a demon putter.
The Kingsfield player has enjoyed a brilliant season, which has included wins at both St Andrews and Royal Dornoch.
He came out on top in the centenary staging of the Eden Trophy at St Andrews last month then added the Fraser Gardner Trophy at Royal Dornoch on Saturday.
“It all stems from a fortuitous putting lesson and all credit really goes to Kenny Monaghan, the head pro at Stirling Golf Club,” said Dick.
“I went to get a new putter in the close season and he put me in the SAM PuttlLab. I had my seven putts and he said I must have nudged the laser because the results were so bad.
“We re-set it and did it again and, from that, he worked out that I was basically aiming every putt nine degrees right, and that is never going to go in the hole.
“It is nothing to do with my stroke, it is down to my vision. Where I see a straight line it is nine degrees right. That’s where I see a focal point.
“We never had a lesson and all I do now is close my left eye when I line up a putt. What it allows me to do is pick the line where the ball is going.
“I changed nothing else apart from putting a bigger grip on the putter to slightly soften out the arc.”
Thanks to Monaghan picking that up, former Scottish internationalist Dick has played some of the best golf of his career this year. “I started the season at plus 1.2 and I’m now at plus 3.4,” he added. “That’s just playing normal golf courses, not big tournaments where you have big standard scratches where you are getting false handicaps.
“That was continously shooting under par. After the weekend, I think I am 87 under-par collectively. I have never had that even going back to when I played all the time.
“I have never been as consistent as I am at the moment and I haven’t changed anything else and even then it was just a case of understanding how your vision works.
“That has created a massive difference and when the putts start to go in the confidence goes up a bit.
“If I’d known this all those years ago, what could I have been? I’d say I’m a much better golfer than I’ve ever been.”
Dick, a member of Carrickvale’s prolific Dispatch Trophy-winning side over the past decade or so, was particularly pleased with his Eden Trophy triumph.
“To win any tournament at St Andrews is special, but for it to be the 100th playing at the Home of Golf was brilliant,” said the 40-year-old.
“It is probably the most prestigious thing I have ever won, including all the national titles and SGU stuff, and ever will win.”
Dick, who is grateful to the support he has received towards travel expenses from James Kerr at Gasology Scotland, made Kingsfield his home course after leaving Kingsknowe.
“I have been going there since 2010 and Robert Arkley has been fantastic,” said the club champion at the Linlithgow venue. “He gives you lots of encouragement and support.
“They also do great charity work. We were at the Katies Cup recently and what a fantastic event. It is the hub of so much that goes on in Scottish golf. It really is a fantastic place.”