Ian Rae takes on new role with Mearns Castle Golf Academy

Ian Rae Mearns Castle

The former Scottish Golf National Coach is now part of the tuition team at Mearns Castle Golf Academy, joining an already impressive list of coaches at the academy.

The PGA Master Professional left Scottish Golf in March 2020, and has recently taken on the new role, where he will be teaching golfers of all abilities. While Rae used to spend most of his time travelling with the Scottish Golf team, he’s now looking forward to spending more time at home in Glasgow.

“When I was at Scottish Golf, I never had much free time,” Rae told bunkered.co.uk.

“I never really had a chance to do a lot of private coaching. I had some pros and top amateurs and things like that, but I was always too busy travelling.

“I’ve been really lucky that I’ve travelled so much, but I would end up spending nine months a year out of my own bed. Some of the winters I would spend four and a half months out of six away on trips. I still travel, but a lot less now. I really like being at home, and I never thought I would say that.

“I just want a balance in my life, rather than madness all the time.”

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Rae has had a relationship with Mearns Castle for some time now, however he only recently began a formal relationship with the academy. He said that thanks to the state-of-the-art facilities on offer at the academy, as well as the quality of his fellow coaches, it is the ideal place to pass on his wealth of knowledge.

“It’s a great set-up,” he said. “You’ve got everything. You’ve got a great short game area, great teaching bays, the nine-hole course is great as well. Whether it’s with top players or handicap golfers, I’ll find us going out on the course and working on stuff out there. It’s a really nice spot.

“Having a great team of coaches here is absolutely brilliant. I’ve known Alastair Forsyth for a long time, and he has great knowledge and experience. I’ve always learned from players like him as well, he’ll obviously come at it from a different standpoint.

“You’ve got Iain Kennedy and George Boswell who do a great job. It’s handy to get confirmation or new ideas from the other coaches, and everyone has different strengths. You pick on people’s strengths. You get more information to the players that way.”

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The former National Coach is best known for his success with elite Scottish players, including leading a Scotland team of Wallace Booth, Callum Macaulay and Gavin Dear to a historic Eisenhower Trophy win in 2008. Now, though, Rae will be sharing his wealth of knowledge with not just top players, but amateurs who are looking to improve their game.

“I’ve now got quite a big variety of players, rather than a small elite group. It’s really, really good, but it is a challenge, you know? For 25 years or something I haven’t done much of that, but I must admit I’ve really enjoyed it.

“Whether someone plays off five, 15 or 25, seeing them improve, that’s tremendous. You get texts on a Sunday saying they played in the medal and it was great, that’s what you want, that’s really good. I’ve no problems there at all.”

Rae is currently coaching two days a week at Mearns Castle, and still has an impressive group of elite players that he advises. Aberdeen professional Richie Ramsay has been a long-time student of his, with Rae being by his side for his US Amateur victory, as well as his 2007 appearance in the Masters.

"I’m here two days a week at the moment but I’m going to build that up over time," he said. 

"The diary is set for the next six months, we’ll see how it goes from there.

“I wouldn’t have missed the madness for the world, but you appreciate not having it. Even my days off used to be like a military operation, because I had all these things I had to do, trying to fit everything in. Everything was in a diary, even on days off. At least now, I'll have time to be a lot more flexible."

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