I’m about as far away from Carnoustie as you can probably imagine; I’m currently huddled in a dank pub toilet in Carluke on the phone to golf captain David Taggart. He is about to head out on a rather arduous 240 mile round trip to Golspie to face the University of Highlands and Islands in the leagues final round of BUSA fixtures.
I had originally contemplated staging the interview over a round of golf but wisely thought better of it. Largely because on the one and only time I have attempted to play golf I was escorted off by an aggrieved groundsman after three holes of systematically uprooting large chunks of the fairway. So I guess this probably saves embarrassment for all parties concerned.
Taggart seems cautiously optimistic, and seems eager to see his side put in a good performance after a draining season.
“I think the side we are playing used to be made up predominantly of people doing degrees in Golf Course Management, so I guess there will be a good chance that this team will be similar and will eat, sleep and dream golf. If we can match their intensity I think we are in with a great chance”
Taggart admits that the only thing about this season that has been consistent this season is their inconsistency. Resounding victories have all too often been coupled with narrow defeats, and it’s a frustration that the captain feels comes with having such a young side:
“There is no doubting the talent of the boys, but match play is a completely different game. With a bit more experience and ‘know-how’ playing at this level it’s only a matter of time before we can start grinding out the tough victories in the really tight matches”
Taggart, who played at school boy level alongside Northern Irish teen sensation Rory Mcllroy, speaks optimistically about the squads future:
“The team are really in a transitional phase at the moment, last year we lost a lot of our big players and this season the squad has been comprised mainly of a really promising bunch of fresher’s. We’ve been really unlucky to miss out on promotion from the league this year, but as the team grows in experience I think it really is a matter of time before this group of lads can compete at the very highest level”
The captain talks of how hard it is to compete with the universities with a greater golfing pedigree,such as St Andrews,
“They obviously have some of the best facilities and are constantly getting an influx of some fantastic American talent who come seeking the ‘St Andrews experience’. Stirling are up there as well, again, it’s hard to compete with a team that have a golf course on their actual campus!”