Catriona Matthew, Scotland’s last major championship winner, will be giving both women and men amateur elite players the benefit of her great experience by joining Scottish Golf’s new performance team.
The 46-year-old from North Berwick, an eight-time Solheim Cup player, has agreed to join former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart on the Performance Committee of the newly-merged governing body, passing on her knowledge and advice to both sexes within the Scottish national amateur squads.
Matthew had a similar advisory role with the former Scottish Ladies Golf Association (SLGA), but the new position is much more formal.
The former Ricoh Women’s British Open champion will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award by Scottish Golf at their annual awards in March, but she plans to have plenty input while maintaining her full-time career on the LPGA Tour.
Two more women, coach Karyn Dallas and former LET pro Clare Queen, will also join the performance committee headed by Scottish Golf non-executive board member Stephen Docherty, who is an executive with Aberdeen Asset Management, Scottish golf’s primary sponsor.
“We’re still looking for more expertise for the performance committee but I’m pleased that Catriona has agreed to join us,” he said.
“She brings valuable knowledge and experience along with Andrew who has been involved with the SGU over the past three years.
“While our male amateurs have performed consistently well in recent years the women have gone through a more challenging time and we need to focus on supporting our best female players to compete at the top of the amateur game.”
Catriona said she was looking forward to assisting in any way she could whilst maintaining her full-time playing schedule.
“Anything I can do to help the process and get more girls and boys breaking through, I’ll be happy,” she said.
“There’s always the exceptions of players who come through without doing well in amateur golf but on the whole I think most good pros have a pretty good amateur career behind them. Sometimes it doesn’t work out but I think it’s true that if you get used to winning as an amateur, you’re better able to get use to winning in the professional ranks.
“People have different views on how to become successful, and it works differently for different people, there’s no one system. But all I can do is give advice and help and hopefully some people will take something useful from it.”
A larger group of competitive players, both men and women, would help greatly, she believes.
“I was lucky when I turned pro because I had Mhairi (McKay), Janice (Moodie) and Kathryn (Imrie) out on tour with me and we all pushed each other to be better,” she said.