Scotland '˜not backing young golfers'
Amateur ace Euan McIntosh reckons Scotland is 'miles away' from giving the sport a much-needed boost by producing a Rory McIlroy.
McIntosh won the Scottish Order of Merit last year as he returned to the amateur scene in his home country after a spell living in Germany.
The Turnhouse star has made no secret of the fact he is preparing for a crack at the Senior Tour when that opportunity comes around in just two years’ time. But he is worried that promising young players coming through the ranks in Scotland are not getting sufficient support to allow them to compete on a level playing field.
McIntosh also reckons Scottish golf is crying out for a superstar like McIlroy or Jordan Spieth to help give the game a lift at grassroots level.
“We don’t get the proper investment at any level to compete with other countries and are a mile behind England and Ireland in that respect,” said the former professional.
“They send a team away to these top amateur events and cover the individual player’s costs. Some of the top talent in Scotland could not even afford to play in the biggest amateur events due to costs they could not afford.
“I lived abroad for nearly 20 years and saw a totally different attitude at golf clubs, especially by individuals at those clubs towards youngsters and that’s were it all starts.
“In Scotland, you get a T-shirt and a jumper at club level and, at county level, you get a T-shirt, jumper, possibly a golf bag, three balls and only if you play away and have to stay over are expenses covered.”
On the Home of Golf needing a role model, he added: “If Scotland had produced a golfer like Rory McIlrory in the last 10 years, I think there would be a lot more youngsters starting golf in Scotland.
“Rory was helped by Andrew Chandler of ISM management company from a very early age. Who knows, without that help and guidance from a man who knew exactly what it took to be successful, would we be watching him on TV today? I played with guys with unbelievable amounts of talent over the years and they disappeared.
“Having played with the best amateurs in Scotland over the past two years, the talent is definitely there to produce players who can win at any level. But these young players need the correct structure and finance in place for that to happen.
“To me, the people in charge have become complacent. I really hope that changes and Scotland can produce a Rory McIlroy. It’s in our hands.”