Paisley golfer Dean Robertson is hoping that experience will count after being chosen as Scotland’s team manager for the European Nations Cup.
Former European Tour winner Robertson will lead a Scotland men’s squad for the first time at the prestigious event, which takes place in March.
The competition – formerly known as The Sherry Cup – is to be staged at Sotogrande, Spain, from Wednesday, March 13, until Saturday, March 16, with Robertson selected as team boss by the Scottish Golf Union.
And among the four-strong team who will fly the flag for Scotland is Renfrewshire golfer Matthew Clark.
There are high hopes for Kilmacolm ace Clark and fellow SGU men’s performance squad members Jack McDonald (Barsssie), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) and James White (Lundin) ahead of the event.
The quartet will be aiming to emulate the success of countrymen Scott Henry, Callum Macaulay, Wallace Booth and Keir McNicoll, who triumphed back in 2008.
Experienced Buddie Robertson has worked closely with McDonald and his namesake Robertson in recent years in his role as Performance Golf Coach at the University of Stirling, while White is also a graduate of Stirling’s successful golf scholarship programme.
The quartet contributed to Scotland’s Home Internationals victory at Glasgow Golf Club’s Gailes Links last August, with Robertson and Clark going on to represent Scotland at the World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey.
And 42-year-old Robertson, who won the 1993 Scottish Amateur Championship and was crowned the 1992 and 1993 Scottish Golfer of the Year before going on to win the 1999 Italian Open as a professional, is looking forward to the challenge of leading the Scotland team in Spain.
He said: “It’s a new challenge for me and, hopefully, my experience can rub off on the guys.
“If we adopt the right mindset and attitude, we can do very well.
“I’m excited about it. It shows the strong relationships between the SGU and the University of Stirling, so it’s very positive for Scottish golf.
“We have a strong team and Jack will be coming into the event with the experience of playing in America for the university, while Graeme and James will have competed in Australia and South Africa as part of the SGU’s winter performance programme.
“Matt is more of a career amateur, working as a senior banking manager, and I intend to meet and work with him in the run-up to the event.
“It’s a big year for all the guys, especially with a Walker Cup at the end of it, so they will all want to hit the ground running.”
As well as Scotland’s success in the team competition in 2008, Andrew McArthur and Richie Ramsay finished joint second in the individual standings in 2005.
Previous individual winners include such famous names as Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Shane Lowry, which proves the event is a breeding ground for future professional stars.
“I’ve also got history with The Sherry Cup, as it was then,” said Robertson. “I played in it a couple of times with the likes of Stephen Gallacher, Raymond Russell and Gordon Sherry.
“We were looked after by Billy Sim, from the North East, who was the course superintendent at San Roque.
“It’s a while since I’ve been there but I’ve played the course at Sotogrande a number of times, so I have good course knowledge.
“I can’t wait to get out there.”
Stephen Docherty, the SGU’s non-executive performance director, believes working with Robertson, as well as the likes of ex-Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart, who is a member of the SGU Performance Committee, is increasingly important for the nation’s top amateurs if they are to fulfil their potential.
He said: “With modern day golf the way it is and Scotland being a small nation, we need to ensure guys like Dean and Andrew, both of whom have played at the top level, are more involved in a number of capacities – this event in Spain being one of them.
“Historically, a head coach would attend this event with the team but Ian Rae, the national coach, is with other members of the squad in South Africa at the time.
“Dean has a range of skills and experience, which means he is an ideal person to support our players at this event.”