David Burns reckons the young talent coming through in Lothians golf is “frightening” and has high hopes of seeing some of the bright prospects join his star pupil Bob MacIntyre on the European Tour.
Burns, who was born in Haddington, now lives in Dunfermline but is “very much a Linlithgow man”, is still on a high after enjoying a day to remember in his coaching career.
It was a proud moment for the Kingsfield Golf Centre-based pro as he watched 22-year-old MacIntyre make the golfing world sit up and take notice as he tied for sixth place on his Open Championship debut at Royal Portrush.
And, on the same day, another of Burns’s pupils, Stephen Gallacher Foundation member Ruben Lindsay, underlined his potential by winning the Scottish Boys’ Championship at Blairgowrie.
It’s been a huge thrill for Burns to see MacIntyre emerge as one of the brightest stars on the European Tour this season and, according to him, there’s a lot more to come from the left-hander.
At the same time, though, he takes as much satisfaction from seeing players like Lindsay and Connor Wilson making progress in the game after starting to work with him in his role as one of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation coaches.
“The kids that I am bringing through from the foundation are frightening,” said Burns, who won the Linlithgow club championship three times when he was still a junior and played for Lothians at boys’, youths’ and men’s level before he turned to coaching. “I reckon I have got a dozen laddies who all have a chance of making a living from professional golf.
“Ruben won the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy at Macdonald Cardrona then won Scottish Boys Match Play and last year I had Connor Wilson, who did exactly the same thing.
“You get an attachment with these kids. I’ve taught Ruben since he was eight or nine-years-old and the swing he has now is the swing we want. If I can get someone with his talent and have his trust and his parents’ trust to do what I want to do, this is the result.
“He is technically phenomenal and it is just now a case of trying to put an old head on young shoulders as he has everything and just needs a bit more course management.”
It was through MacIntyre paying a visit to Kingsfield for a TaylorMade club fitting session that he met Burns, who enjoyed two successful spells with Stephen Gallacher.
“Robert was an ideal pupil for me,” said Burns. “He was a very good golfer with an ordinary technique.
“He had already proved he was a winner. He had the desire. He had everything apart from the technique. He’s now halfway where I want him to be technically and neither of us will be resting on our laurels.
“I am out at Glencruitten this week for two days as we start on the next stage. It’s his work ethic and desire to improve that impresses me the most. He’s level-head as well. He’s a great listener and also very respectful. He’s a sponge for information.
“We have improved every part of the game. The putting remains the poorest part, but we know what we are trying to do. It will not happen overnight.”