Markinch golfer steps up career

Peter Latimer

Peter Latimer

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A Markinch golfer is on course to become a fully qualified PGA professional.

Peter Latimer, seventh in this year’s SGU Order of Merit, has decided to undertake the PGA’s three year foundation degree to enhance his career options having landed a position at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club in Suffolk.

He will learn all aspects of the game under the expert eye of head PGA pro Robert Joyce who succeeded retiring Scots club pro Ian McPherson at the start of December.

Latimer, aged 24, a plus three handicapper from Markinch, Fife, was one of the most consistent Scottish amateurs in 2011 with four top-five and three top-10 finishes in Order of Merit 72-hole events.

As many of his peers including Michael Stewart, Kris Nicol, Philip McLean, Jordan Findlay, David Law, and James Byrne battle to become tour pros, Latimer has set his sights on broadening his horizons for the future.

“I decided to turn professional via the PGA route as I cannot afford to continue to play full-time amateur golf, nor can I afford to play tour golf,” said Latimer who was a winner more than once on the US college circuit as a student at Guilford College, Greensboro in North Carolina.

“Therefore I have decided to become a PGA assistant, giving me the chance to play, and gain skills which will provide me with a career in the future, should playing not work out for me.

“I have not given up on the idea of playing tour golf at some point in the future. However, at the moment it is unsustainable for me to play golf without earning a living.”

Latimer, who was capped for Scotland in the 2009 Home Internationals and won the East of Scotland Open in 2010, is relishing the prospect of working with Joyce who has an excellent reputation as a teacher of the game and is a Fellow of the PGA.

“A major factor in my decision to go south was to have Robert Joyce as a mentor,” added Latimer.

“This is one of the top 100 golf clubs in England. The pro shop is being refurbished and a driving range is going to be built. So it’s good to join a go-ahead club.

“My days at college in the States were instrumental in putting me in the position to represent Scotland, and move into the professional game and were without doubt the happiest times of my life so far. It was an experience I would recommend to anyone looking to improve their golf game.”

Scottish PGA regional secretary Michael MacDougall commented: “I don’t know Peter Latimer personally but it sounds as though he has made a sensible, informed decision to go through the PGA programme.

“He will gain an education in all aspects of the game and will also have the ability to compete with and against some very experienced campaigners, many of whom have been there and done it.

“Ultimately, if he is good enough, there are opportunities for him to progress up through the playing ranks through the PGA just as former Open champion Paul Lawrie did.

SHANE FENTON