Scottish Golf has teamed-up with three key stakeholders to deliver an exciting new support package designed to ease the transition from amateur to professional golf for Scottish players.
Aberdeen Asset Management, SSE Scottish Hydro and Bounce Sports Management, along with Scottish Golf, will offer players financial and management support on a two-year deal, with two of the country's newest professionals - Grant Forrest and Ewen Ferguson (below) - the first recipients of the support.
Both players are guaranteed eight Challenge Tour starts this season through the initiative, with similar experience-building opportunities set to be offered to other up-and-coming Scottish professionals in the future.
For those amateur players achieving a number of successful results and deemed ready to turn professional at the end of this season, the new support package will be open to them – with selection put forward by the Scottish Golf Performance Committee for consideration by the stakeholders.
Bounce worked closely with Walker Cup winners Forrest and Ferguson last year, managing them in professional events as top-ranked amateurs, before negotiating manufacturer and sponsorship deals for their move into the professional ranks.
“This initiative builds on our work with Scottish Golf last year and allows us to deliver a strategy that we have believed in for quite a while now,” said Iain Stoddart, Founding Partner at Bounce.
“It is fantastic that key stakeholders in Scottish golf, including the governing body, have come together to get behind the country’s leading talent.
“We will endeavour to approach other like-minded companies to join this way of ensuring our very best men and women get over what has historically been a very fragile stage of their careers.”
Ewen Ferguson, who played only his third Challenge Tour event as a professional in Turkey last week, said: “With the financial support behind me and the playing opportunities on the Challenge Tour throughout the season ahead, I am in the best position I could be to try to secure a place on the European Tour. I now just can’t wait to get playing.”
Grant Forrest (above) added: “I feel now, after 12 months of hard work working with and speaking to the right people, I am ready for the season and professional journey ahead.”