Paul Lawrie’s swing adviser Andrew Locke believes that Aboyne’s Daniel Thompsett, the North-east boys’ stroke-play and match-play champion before he left to enrol at Rocky Mountain College in Montana, has got what it takes to make his way in golf, writes Colin Farquharson.
“Daniel’s home on a three-week holiday from America over the Festive period and I’ve been able to have a look at him and his swing through the specialised camera equipment at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre,” said Andrew.
“First thing I noticed is that he seems bigger than he was before he went to the States.
He’s 19 years old and a six-footer anyway but regular sessions of gym work as part of the Rocky Mountain College curriculum has put some muscle on him.
“As far as getting to the top in golf, it’s really all about what’s between the ears once you get to a certain level of ability. You have to have a mindset to work hard and also have an exceptional short game.
“Daniel is halfway through his second year and he will be at Rocky Mountain College for four years in all. The chance is there for him – as it was for James Byrne at Arizona State University – to raise his game to a different level.”
Locke gave Byrne his first lesson when he was about eight years old and coached him to Walker Cup status and to reach the final of the British amateur championship.
“Daniel has been a winner already on the US college golf circuit and he has shot a 10-under-par 61 in a Rocky Mountain College event. Anyone who can shoot 10 under par, no matter the circumstances, has to have the potential to go far in golf,” said Locke whose rare claim to fame – apart from being in the top echelon of Scottish golf coaches – is that he played football (as a goalkeeper) AND golf at Scottish schoolboy international level.
“That was in the early 1990s. Christian Daily is the only player from the football team who has gone on to the senior grade but it was a very strong schoolboys line-up when we beat England – European Tour player Stephen Gallacher, former Scottish boys champion Ben Collier (now a club pro in Holland), Craig Hislop, who also turned pro, and Ewan Forbes, who is now secretary-manager at Inverness Golf Club,” said Andrew who lives in Stonehaven.
Back to Daniel Thompsett and he’s looking forward to the restart of the US college golf season in the spring.
“There had not been any snow so far at Billings, Montana – where the Rocky Mountain College is – before I left to come home from Christmas and the New Year but it was very, very cold, even colder than winter in Aberdeenshire,” said Daniel.
“I love it over there. Of course, it’s nice to come home for a spell to see my family and get Andrew to check over my swing but I’m looking forward to going back to Montana.”