Paul Lawrie’s swing coach Andrew Locke believes Aboyne’s Daniel Thompsett, the north-east boys’ stroke-play and match-play champion before he left to enrol at Rocky Mountain College in Montana, has a bright future in the game.
“Daniel’s home on a three-week holiday from America and I’ve been able to have a look at him and his swing at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre,” said Locke.
“The first thing I noticed is he seems bigger than he was before he went to the States.
“He’s 19-years-old and a six-footer anyway but regular sessions of gym work has put some muscle on him.
“As far as getting to the top in golf, it’s really all about what’s between the ears once you get to a certain level of ability. You have to have a mindset to work hard and also have an exceptional short game.
“Daniel is halfway through his second year and he will be at Rocky Mountain College for four years in all. The chance is there for him – as it was for James Byrne at Arizona State University – to raise his game to a different level.”
Locke gave Byrne his first lesson when he was eight and coached him to Walker Cup status and to reach the final of the British amateur championship.
“Daniel has been a winner already on the US college golf circuit and he has shot a 10- under-par 61 in a Rocky Mountain College event. Anyone who can shoot 10 under par, no matter the circumstances, has to have the potential to go far in golf,” said Locke who other than being in the upper echelon of Scottish golf coaches, also played football as a goalkeeper and golf at Scottish schoolboy international level.
“That was in the early 1990s. Christian Dailly was the only player from the football team who has went on to the senior grade but it was a very strong schoolboys golf line-up when we beat England – European Tour player Stephen Gallacher, former Scottish boys champion Ben Collier who is now a club pro in Holland, Craig Hislop, who also turned pro, and Ewan Forbes, who is now secretary-manager at Inverness – were in the team,” said Locke who lives in Stonehaven.
Thompsett is looking forward to the return of the college golf season in the spring.
He said: “There had not been any snow in Montana before I left to come home, but it was very cold, even colder than winter in Aberdeenshire.
“I love it over there. Of course, it’s nice to come home for a spell to see my family and get Andrew to check over my swing, but I’m looking forward to going back to Montana.”