Kirkcaldy’s Calum Hill is ready to embrace a new chapter after recruiting vastly-experienced Phil Morbey as his full-time caddie.
Morbey, who helped Ian Woosnam win the Masters in 1991, stepped in as a temporary replacement for Hill’s younger brother Ian who previously caddied for him, after the 26-year-old received a late call to play in the Saudi International earlier this month.
It proved to be an instantly successful partnership, as Hill finished tied fourth to record his best finish on the European Tour.
Morbey, who is commonly known as “Wobbly”, was available due to an injury to Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, which caused him to miss the final leg of the European Tour’s Middle East Swing.
That chance meeting has now prompted a permanent arrangement, with Hill already feeling the benefits of tapping into 56-year-old Morbey’s extensive knowledge, which helped Woosnam triumph at Augusta 30 years ago.
Hill said: “It is hard to put a value on how important experience can be, especially in pressure situations. It’s impressive and admirable how he goes about his business and he helped make things easier for me.
“I was impressed by his ability to judge factors for golf shots. His wind judgement, or lies in rough, and his expectation of how the ball would react in certain scenarios.
“As a player I’m trying to hit golf shots as close as possible, and I had inclinations about how something was going to factor into the actual distance of the shot.
“His input was valuable. He gave me feedback, he wrote me an email about things that were good and what we could work on. Things like time management and some of the negative self talk, which I don’t find negative, but maybe is in a sense.
“There were little bits and pieces. It was good to have a different set of eyes on my week, and to see things I didn’t think were problematic. My lag putting, for example. I didn’t three putt all week but my pace was shy.
“My mid range putts weren’t having the most chance to go in, I wasn’t getting them to the hole. He suggested we do more lag putt drills. Over the course of an event, or longer, that can have an impact.
“His 40 years of seeing golf shots, it’s certainly not going to hinder anything is it?”
Hill’s plans to get on board with Morbey necessitated a conversation with brother Ian, however the three-time Challenge Tour winner says there is unanimous agreement the move is for the benefit of his career.
Hill added: “It was obviously very difficult and kind of sensitive being family, but, in a certain sense, it also makes it slightly easier because, as family, he is always going to want the best for me.
“He had a little incline that this might happen, but, when we spoke about it, he was happy if it was going to be better for me in the long run and impact my finishes.
“Gaining experience due to being new on the circuit, he could see it was the right thing to do.”
Hill’s exploits in Saudi Arabia provided a major boost to his world ranking, as he now sits 139th in the standings.
Hill is taking inspiration from the success of fellow Scot Robert MacIntyre, who is looking to secure a Masters place in April after breaking into the top 50.
Hill added: “When you get a taste of success, or something that has gone in your favour, your confidence builds.
“That hopefully brings along momentum to continue that for a period, which I have found in previous years for my golf.
“If I get a bit of momentum to go in the right direction it continues for quite a while.
“Hopefully this is one of those moments. The goal is to accelerate at the pace the likes of Robert MacIntyre and a couple of other guys have.
“I want to continue the good performances to shoot up the rankings which will open up other doors.”