Clydebank man Chris hopes to finish season on a high
By Michael McEwan
A golfer from the University of Stirling is hoping his best season yet will carry on through to the autumn and the European Tour Qualifying School.
Chris Maclean, a 22-year old from Clydebank, reached the last 32 of the Amateur Championship and then won the Tennant Cup before going on to win his county championships.
Now, he is targeting a strong autumn to ready himself for an assault on Q-School.
“It’s been a really good season, probably my best, so I’m feeling good,” said the BA Business and Marketing fourth year student who plays at Balmore Golf Club in Glasgow.
“That’s just golf. You do the same things for months then something just clicks and you go on a hot run, which seems to be what I’ve done for the last month and half. It’s such a confidence sport and I’m now confident I can hit the shots I need to hit and make the putts.”
When Maclean arrived at the University of Stirling four years ago, he was by his own admission ‘nothing special’. He played off scratch and was ranked around 6,000 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The transformation in the time since has been little short of remarkable. As this edition went to print, he was ranked 515 and plays off +4.
“It’s a big jump and it shows the difference university has made,” said Maclean who is coached by Kevin Craggs and gets additional support from the University’s head coach, Dean Robertson.
“Since being with Kevin, it’s been the fastest I’ve ever improved. He’s developed my skills and made some slight changes, which have made me more consistent. Dean has been someone to lean on in terms of spin control, ball flight and controlling the golf ball, things that are so important but also hard to teach.
“Being a European Tour winner, he has much knowledge that you get better just from being around him, which you are every day. He has developed skills I had and given me new ones I never had. It’s been a good fun journey over the last four years to see how good I could get.”
Maclean is one of 150 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships programme for student athletes. Through the programme he receives funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies.
Maclean added: “I’m going to go to The Roxburghe for European Tour Qualifying School as an amateur, so I’ll see how that goes. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll go to Alps Qualifying School, start at the bottom rung and work my way up.”