LISTEN: Gary Casey explains how beginners can get into golf – photo credit: Kirt Edblom
Golfing’s becoming easier than ever with the help and support of Pitlochry player Gary Casey and his beginners.
Inspired by Holland’s approach, they’re working together to help make the green more accessible to people who aren’t already skilled to begin with.
Mr Casey explained: “When I was in Holland, they had a good system where people joined the golf club and took up the sport.
“Where traditionally, in Scotland and England, you wouldn’t normally think of joining the golf club until you’re a good golfer.”
Using What’s App to keep connected and bundling the experience into a single membership, Mr Casey is keeping it simple and sociable.
He added: “So up here, we’ve got some beginners and then basically we wrap into one sort of membership all the help that they need.
“So, they need help with their technique, so we include a clinic with them twice a month and they maybe want to meet people.
“A lot of people take up golf not necessarily to get good at it but to meet other people, they might be new to the area, it’s a great way to do that.”
“So, we’ve got a little What’s App buddy network, so they go into that and catch up with each other.”
And, as part of that, Mr Casey offers off-peak times on the course, supplying equipment too.
He summarised: “So basically we’re trying to break down all the barriers you’d think you’d come up against when you join a golf club.
“It’s like driving, they always say the best way to learn to drive is to start driving. The best way to start learning to play golf is to start playing.”
Throughout the lockdown, golfing in Pitlochry has been very quiet with so few visitors coming through.
“We call it millionaires golf; they’ve got the golf course to themselves” said Mr Casey.
Golfing has been a way of life for Mr Casey for a long time now, since the age of 16 he’s been swinging his club on the course.
He said: “I wasn’t very good at school so that was the only place I could go and hide, and nobody would catch me, so I got good at golf by accident. And then I started off doing my apprenticeship.
“I grew up in Cumbernauld, and I move to Ascot when I was 18 and teaching down there, then I went to Holland for a couple of years then I was in Cambridge for over 20 years and now I’m in Pitlochry since 2018.”