“When I moved to Qatar four years ago, the weather of course was probably the biggest change, I had to get used to the summer season, I’m still getting used to it. Now my community here is really built up around the golf community, so I spend most of my time working at the club, playing golf, or practicing. It’s a really cosmopolitan society of golfers here, they come from all different countries which are really interesting and it’s great to meet people of different cultures and different backgrounds. The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing new people, who’ve never seen golf before, taking golf up and enjoying it, and then hopefully taking it up and playing it for the rest of their lives. Our mission here is to grow the sport of golf, getting more people to participate and it’s wonderful when that happens.
Typically, a lot of people play golf in Scotland but unusually my parents didn’t play golf some taking golf up was by accident. I came back from school one day and by chance, my father was storing some golf clubs for one of his friends in the garage. I’d seen golf being played on the television, and then when I saw those clubs, I thought I’d give it a try. A friend of mine and I went to the local building site and we started hitting balls around there, it was good until the builder threw us off!. Then I started to play golf on a local football pitch until I hit a golf ball through the local shop window, so golf got banned in the village! so then eventually we found a golf course nearby for me to play on. Scotland’s easy to play golf – there are so many golf courses and it’s very inexpensive for children, I just played almost every day, and since then it has been my passion for the rest of my life.
One of the key things is that you can play golf when on your own, you don’t need to rely on someone else unlike other sports. It’s difficult to play tennis – you need someone to hit the ball back to you, it’s difficult to play football on your own – you need a team of players, that said you can quickly make friends and play with other people at a golf club as you find people with a similar passion to yours. I have been lucky to make a career out of it as well, which is a bonus.
Nowadays I like to go and play golf in unusual places, which not a lot of people would think of going to such as Azerbaijan or Georgia, I find these interesting as they are not traditional golf destinations– but that’s fun, and I enjoy the outdoors. Being from Scotland, I enjoy hillwalking and going into the mountains and the like. So any country that offers that sort of experience is appealing to me. As long as it’s not too hot or not too humid I’m happy to give it a go.
I recognized early on in my life that golf was a passion, and what I wanted to do as a career. My culture and education have definitely helped me in high esteem. I strongly believe in continuous professional development, and I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to continue to develop myself over the last 30 years. Although I haven’t played as much golf as I’d like to over the last 20 years or so, I want to be fit enough to be able to play good golf when I retire. All the guys and girls that I’d played golf with when I was a teenager are going to be retiring at the same age as me so I need to be fit and ready to beat them again!, so I’ve got to be fit enough. I’ve got a real passion for introducing more people to the sport of golf and the immense health benefits! In today’s society when we’re all working a bit harder, and we’re a bit more stressed, this is a wonderful sport- a wonderful release to get away from the stresses of modern-day life.”