Hot on the heels of a weekend when only one Scot – amateur Sam Locke – made the cut at the Open, Colin Montgomerie has admitted that the home of golf is “going through a bit of a dip” right now.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Senior Open, taking place for the first time in the event’s history at St Andrews, Montgomerie said that the health of Scottish golf at the very top level of the game isn’t currently good enough.
“Russell Knox is doing great, don't get me wrong, but we are going through a bit of a dip right now from the grand times of Lyle and Torrance and Brand, Jr., and I suppose adding myself to that towards the end,” said eight-time European No.1 Monty.
“You can't put your finger on it. England ten years ago had one person in the top 100 in the world, so you go through stages. Let's hope it's just a phase and we get out of it.
“We've got 538 odd courses here in Scotland. We've got the most per capita of anywhere in the world and so there's opportunity there, and it's cheap still in Scotland. It's not expensive to play here. We should be producing more than we are.
“I don't know what we can do. We probably have to wait and see. There are so many youngsters coming through that we don't know their names yet, and let's hope there are.”
Monty added that we shouldn’t expect success simply because we are the country that created the game.
“It's not a given because you're a top amateur or youth amateur or boys champion or whatever it might be in Scotland that it's automatic to go through the ranks and to make it,” said Monty. “Very few make it, very few.
“This horrible world, being patient, youngsters want it now, which is understandable. A lot of pressure on them. Everybody sees the dollar signs nowadays and there's not just them doing it. There's others around the world. It's more competitive now than it's ever been."