Saturday, November 26, 2011


The Paul Lawrie Foundation Team of Rookie Pros. Standing (left) Kris Nicol (Fraserburgh). Seated (left) Philip McLean (Peterhead), David Law (Hazlehead) and their mentor Paul Lawrie. Image by courtesy of Charlie Stewart (

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie has made a million and wants for nothing - but he has never forgotten his early days as a tour pro.
That's the main reason why the Paul Lawrie Foundation will give North-east of Scotland trio David Law (Hazlehead), Philip McLean (Peterhead) and Fraserburgh's Kris Nicol a “helping hand” and be their mentor until they find their feet in their new environment as rookie golf professionals.
Law (20) and McLean (24) , as amateurs, have been members of the PLF Team since it was set up two or three years ago, before Law won the Scottish boys’ championship and then the Scottish amateur championship, both in 2009.
McLean will turn pro after he competes in the European Tour School Stage 2 at Costa Ballena GC in southern Spain next week.
Nicol (27), who, like Law, left the amateur ranks a few weeks ago, is also bound for Spain next week. His Stage 2 venue is Las Colinas GC near Alicante .
Kris, who made the Walker Cup practice squad, was not in the original Paul Lawrie Team but has impressed Paul with his results, including topping the Alps Tour Q School last week, and his readiness to work hard to achieve his goals.
Law failed to get past Stage 1 at Dundonald Links. He plans to play mainly on the German PGA’s EPD Tour which tees off in 2012 with three events in Turkey.
“When I set up the Paul Lawrie Foundation for a group of young, talented youngsters in the North-east, it was always my intention to extend the support, be it money, clothing, equipment, balls or advice into their pro golf years if any of them decided to go down that road,” said Paul at his local golf club, Deeside where he is an honorary member.
“I am just about to take David, Philip and Kris out on the Deeside course. We’ll play nine holes and chat a lot on the way round. They were asking me over a cup of coffee in the clubhouse, for instance, how much time I left myself to hit balls on the range before a round on the European Tour,” said Paul, a winner of the Andalucia Open in Spain earlier this year and, of course, the 1999 Open championship at Carnoustie.
“That’s the kind of thing I can really help them with - advice based on my experience of tournament play and other aspects of life as a pro golfer. We will meet regularly for bounce games when they are at home and I’m always there at the end of a phone line if they want a more urgent response to a problem they come up against a long way from home.
“The Paul Lawrie Foundation will pay each of them to wear the PLF logo on their tournament clothing and I will fix them up, with the help of Glenmuir, with that,” said Paul.
“I have built up a lot of contacts in the game over the years and I can make things happen for them a lot more quickly than it might otherwise.
“A lot is done for top amateurs but they really need that help to continue when they turn pro. That’s when they really want assistance and advice. I was lucky I had people like Stewart Spence, Martin Gilbert and Bruce Davidson around to make life that bit easier when I became a tour pro.
“Other people helped me when I was young, now it’s my turn to lend a helping hand.”
Scottish golf is not teeming with European Tour players and former Open champions who are ready to give freely of their time and money to help others climb the pro golf ladder. And Law, McLean and Nicoll do not need to be reminded how lucky they are that a man of Lawrie’s standing in the game is taking them under his wing as rookie pros.
“Every time I play with Paul, I learn something and I really am grateful for all he has done for me already and it’s great that his help and assistance is going to continue,” said Philip McLean.
“For us to get to play with Paul and to be able to bring our problems to him, is a terrific advantage. And there is so much more he is providing,” said David Law.
“Getting started is the really hard bit about pro golf,” said Kris Nicol. “For Paul to step in and offer his help in so many different ways is terrific.”

 I saw Gillian Mitchell (physiotherapist) for my fortnightly "crunch" and then met David Law, Philip McLean and Kris Nicol at Deeside for a photograph. The Foundation is providing all three with funding for next year. We had a bite to eat then played nine holes.
All three of them beat me to win £20 each. Anytime I play with them and I win they give me a £1 but if they win I give them £20. So today was a bad day for me but great for them!



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