Scottish amateur Sam Locke has been able to walk the fairways with a Carnoustie Open champion in the build-up to this week’s Championship.
Draining information from mentor Paul Lawrie was a no-brainer.
But the 19-year-old from Stonehaven, who came through the 1999 champion’s foundation, knows that one size doesn’t fit all.
“Paul walked round with me,” said last year’s Scottish Amateur winner. “It was useful.
“Obviously I have to develop a plan that suits me.
“The way that Paul sees a hole may not be a shot that I like and vice versa but having him there is a massive help.”
Among the nuggets of advice Lawrie has passed on to his protégé was not to get “starry-eyed” in the company of the greats of the game.
Locke, who earned his spot at Carnoustie by winning final qualifying at The Renaissance Club, is hoping to strike the right balance between enjoying the whole Open experience and, more importantly, replicating the golf that got him here.
“It is pretty cool seeing all the grandstands and the different players at the range,” he said.
“It is the biggest event there is with all the best players in the world.
“You have to embrace this in a good way. It is a chance to show everyone what you can do.
“You have to be positive and enjoy the experience.
“It is great going down the 18th with all the grandstands.
“I know people say I have nothing to lose this week but obviously I have my own goals I have set for myself.
“I will be trying to do the best I can and make a name for myself on the biggest stage.
“I am approaching it the same way I would any tournament and see what we can do.”
American Brandt Snedeker and Australia’s Cameron Davis are Locke’s 11.36am playing partners. The trio will have an early 6.35am start on Friday morning.
“It is a great draw,” he said. “I can’t wait.
“Brandt Snedeker has had an amazing career. I’m sure we will have fun. I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m happy with the times. I don’t mind being first out on Friday. Hopefully I can get out there early and post a number.
“It doesn’t really bother me the time I tee off.”
Locke hasn’t built up much Carnoustie experience in his amateur career.
“Before this week I had only played once at a sponsor’s day,” he explained. “I was playing off the forward tees so I was able to bang a driver over the bunkers at a lot of the holes but you can’t do that off the back tees.
“The course is really firm but it is good. The greens are a little softer but the fairways are very firm.
“Some of the shots downwind are going really far. The numbers you are writing down for maximum distance sound a bit silly at the time.
“It is a proper links test.
“It will be a few more irons off the tee to stay short of the bunkers and then longer irons into the green.
“The ball is going far because of how firm it is.”
He added: “I came down on Sunday and just hit some balls on the range. Then I played 18 on Monday – just to get a feel for it, see how the ball was reacting and get a game plan going.
“The whole experience has been brilliant so far.
“It was nine today and nine on Wednesday. I will do a bit of practice as well but nothing major. You are just trying to fine tune little bits and deal with what you have got now and try to enjoy the situation.”