Yes – a cup should always be defended except in exceptional circumstances, which do not pertain presently

SGU should have sent a team from the best players available.  I suspect some here in Scotland just now are rather better golfers than those currently in South Africa.

Michael Niven


 Having just re-read Ed Hodge's response in relation to US colleges, I think I am right in saying that Ben Stow, who is playing for England at Sotogrande, is currently a student at the University of Kentucky.  Surely if England can get a player released so can Scotland?

D Neal Stewart

Regarding Scotland not sending a team to defend The Nations Cup - I think it is a poor show that we do not have a team representing us in what is an important tournament for many reasons. It was a fantastic achievement by Bradley, Graeme, Jack and Scott in winning the title in 2014. All four  went on to achieve many different things through the season and so can count it as a springboard for what was to come.
I believe those four lads should have been offered the chance to go back to defend.
I understand that Bradley has other commitments but I am unsure of the other three. Should they have not been able to travel or play, then this opportunity should have been passed down the SGU OOM from 2014 to the players available to do so.
I believe Neal Stewart may have taken the four names from a post I made on my personal Facebook page and from my understanding these would have been the four players next in line who would be available - Matthew Clark, Scott Borrowman (defending team member), Kyle Godsman and Adam Dunton. Two of these lads played in the last Home Internationals (from memory) and Scott's credentials do not require justification.
 If they were unavailable for any reason I'm sure we can keep scrolling down the list and find players capable of not only representing Scotland well but actually successfully defending the title our nation won last year!
I had the pleasure of playing with Kyle Godsman during the final round of the Leven Gold Medal and he has everything in his armoury to represent Scotland, shoot good scores and win points in a match-play format. He has just returned from four years' full-time golf in the USA and stated that one of his goals would be to represent Scotland while we played that day.
He was unsure about how this would materialise but it did not affect his game or thought process when I played with him. I noticed that the following week he contended again and narrowly lost out to Stuart Tatters in the North of Scotland Open. In Stuart's speech or press response he stated his ambition to represent Scotland in the Home Internationals. This should be applauded. It is a fantastic goal and from winning a national 72-holer he has shown that he can compete at that level.
There are a few names on the OOM that I am unfamiliar with but I have played with the following players in the last 12 months who could all have been considered for the Nations Cup quartet - Ryan Campbell, Nick McAndrew (2014 Battle Trophy winner), Steven Rennie, Craig Watson and Gordon Stevenson (both Area Team Champions with Renfrewshire), Ed Wood (Lanarkshire county champion) plus Colin Baird.
As you have pointed out in your response, these guys are all the "wrong" side of 25 and perhaps that is part of the reason why they weren't considered or selected. That, however, is anyone's guess.
Finally, going back to the stated goal of the North of Scotland Open Champion that he wishes to represent Scotland, I truly believe that the Home International event should be aan achievable goal to ALL players at the start of every season.
It is a wonderful experience (playing for Scotland at any level is) and one that should be awarded to the players who compete to a high standard from day one of the season. I also believe that many of the "working" amateurs in Scotland have a sense of discouragement in that no matter how they set their goals, plan their seasons and ultimately perform at a good level, this chance will never materialise.
I think it is a great shame that not only did Scotland not have a team at the Nations Cup this year but that the over-25s seem to be alienated from ever having the chance to represent Scotland at any level of competition despite strong performances.
I feel this has a detrimental effect on the nation's standard of amateur golf as a whole as these "experienced" guys simply do not enter 72 hole events due to it not leading anywhere. We need these guys to play week-in, week-out so that the lads who are selected to play in the European Championships and Eisenhower Trophy are at the top of their games and, in my opinion, will lead to Scotland becoming a force in world golf again - at all levels!!!
Barry Hume