While it’s ultimately up to the nation’s players to adjust to a new life in the professional ranks, there are initiatives in place to help ease the transition from amateur to professional.
For those players who have enjoyed significant success as an amateur at international level, there is an opportunity to gain support through Scottish Golf Support Limited (SGSL).
Launched in 2010, SGSL was given a £1 million investment by sportscotland over at least five years to assist Scotland’s most promising young professionals in the transition from the amateur game, harnessing the combined expertise of sportscotland, the SGU, the SLGA and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA).
Players who are currently benefitting from the Am to Pro support include young professionals Kylie Walker, Pamela Pretswell and Sally Watson.
Only players that fulfil the minimum criteria are supported and that current minimum is a Challenge Tour card or better for Men and a Ladies European Tour card or better for Women.
Moreover, those players deemed of a high enough standard can get support for European Tour Q School fees and individual funding to underwrite some of their costs, including competition, coaching and winter training. They also get access to the Scottish Institute of Sport support services.
Kylie Walker has received the support in recent years and this year made her breakthrough on the Ladies European Tour when she won the Deloitte Ladies Open in Holland in May 2014, she then followed this up a few weeks later by winning the Ladies German Open. Speaking of the support she has received, Kylie says:
''The SGSL Am-Pro support has been a great help to me since turning Professional. The substantial amount of financial support has been a massive help towards my yearly expenses and has allowed me to relax and focus more on my golf. I have also had the support services of the Scottish Institute of Sport for a number of years now and that has been a huge benefit and helped me to improve physically and mentally. I have been so fortunate to come through the ranks of Scottish Golf and I am grateful to have been supported all the way. Thank you!''
Sally Watson is also currently benefitting from the support and has had a strong start to her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour.
"The support from Scottish Golf Support Limited has been very helpful in making my transition from amateur golf to the professional tour a seamless one." Adds Watson "The funding and valuable support services have allowed me to continue to progress my game and perform at the highest level I am capable of during my rookie season."
Louise Martin, CBE, chair of sportscotland, adds: “The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles provides us with an excellent opportunity to promote golf and ensure there is a lasting legacy for the sport.
“Central to that aspiration is Scottish Golf Support Limited’s Pro Support and ClubGolf, both of which sportscotland invests in. The Pro Support has already helped many of Scotland’s young golfers progress.”