“I'm going into the navy later in the year so won't have many more chances to be on a golf course with my dad. What better place to have one last time with him than at The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.”
It’s quite a compelling reason for wanting to be one of the Scottish Golf Development Centre carryboarders!
A former student at Uddingston Grammar, 17 year-old Jack Campbell is one step away from starting naval training in Plymouth, which would take him towards his goal of becoming an aircrew man working with helicopters in the Royal Navy. His choice of career was in part inspired by computer games but also by his grandfather.
He said: “I didn’t want to be stuck on a boat the whole time. My grandpa was in the Navy just after the war. I heard stories about how he went all round the world and that is one of the main factors.”
Jack has been working part-time at a chip shop until he begins his training when he is not out on the course playing off four. He took up the sport when he was around 13 and he received four years of coaching through ClubGolf at Kirkintilloch Golf Club and the Scottish Golf Development Centre programme at Mearns Castle.
“When I was doing ClubGolf there was so much chat about The Ryder Cup and we couldn’t get tickets. My dad and I talked about this opportunity before applying and were definitely up for it.
“The atmosphere is what I’m looking forward to most. I have never been to The Ryder Cup and it could be the only chance I get to see it.”
Jack’s favourite player is Miguel Ángel Jiménez and although the four times Ryder Cup player is not selected this time, Jack has been lucky enough to meet him.
He said: “I spent two hours outside the practice area at the Scottish Open waiting to get his autograph. He’s not your typical golfer, and he looks quite cool. He was in a rush to the first tee and I got his autograph and spoke for a wee while.
“My dad has brought me up on golf, he was the one teaching me, or trying to teach me! I play a lot of golf with him so this may be one of the last chances I get to walk the course with him before I join the navy, so it’s really special.
Dad Billy is a Commercial Manager for Maclay Civil Engineering. One of the recent projects he was involved in was as site manager for the major road realignment and resurfacing between the Squinty Bridge and Govan Cross in Glasgow. A former ClubGolf coach, he is also father to Beth, 13, and 9 year-old Lewis, and plays off one at Kirkintilloch Golf Club.
He said: “When Jack said we had been selected, it was amazing as we couldn’t get tickets. It’ll be good to see the players close up and get a bit of the insight of how they do things close up.
“They’re superhuman! They just take it to a different level. We’ve been to The Open and Scottish Open but you’re that bit removed from it so it’ll be good to see it from within the ropes.”
One of Billy’s greatest golfing achievements was getting an albatross, only to be upstaged by Jack who got one the very next week, adding to the other six holes-in-one achieved by the younger Campbell at Kirkintilloch in a short space of time. Although Billy’s time in the limelight was short-lived, they were able to celebrate when they were both invited to play in a competition at St Andrews Bay with a handful of others who had also managed the same feat that summer.
Now father and son are part of another select group, the ClubGolf Team behind the Team, carry boarding at Gleneagles in a few weeks’ time.
Billy shared his thoughts after The Ryder Cup. He said:
“Our favourite memories were seeing Rory and Sergio birdie the last three holes to get a half match against Fowler and Walker in the Friday foursomes and the atmosphere on the first tee from inside the arena each time.
"Martin Kaymer’s singles win was amazing and especially finishing it off with an eagle at 16.
"My personal highlight was being able to have a few words with the great Tom Watson at the 13th on the Thursday practice. It was the most amazing week!”