Golf: Open star Ian Garbutt lands new development role

Ian Garbutt in action at the 2000 Open Championship.
Ian Garbutt in action at the 2000 Open Championship.
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Doncaster’s former European Tour golfer Ian Garbutt certainly boasts the right credentials to make a success of his new role in the sport.

The 41-year-old famously led the Open Championship in 2000 when he found himself seven under par after 12 holes.

He recently started work as a talent development manager for Callaway Golf Europe.

“Basically my job is to spot the young players coming through who look to have a good future in the sport and get them signed up for Callaway,” said Garbutt.

“The hope is that they will then go on to join the Tour as Callaway players.

“It’s a case of introducing the players to Callaway, who will provide them with such things as free equipment, and hope that they like the brand and go forward with it.

“The job means I’ll attend international junior tournaments all over the world.

“It’s up to me to hopefully develop relationships with international teams and get them to use Callaway.”

Garbutt was one of a number of top prospects produced by Wheatley Golf Club’s junior policy administrated by the late Fred Sumner.

“There were a lot of very good golfers throughout Yorkshire at the time,” said Garbutt, who played off scratch as a 16-year-old.

He won the English Amateur title prior to turning professional and securing his European Tour card.

That success, when aged just 18, and winning the Order of Merit on the European Challenge Tour in 1996, are Garbutt’s personal highlights.

Reflecting on his time on the European circuit, he said: “It was tough, which I always knew it would be, because there are always good young players coming through.

“But I enjoyed every minute of it until it became a bit of a bind.

“I had a young family at the time and I just wasn’t enjoying it. That’s why I packed in back in 2008.

“I was happy with what I achieved, but if I have any regrets it is that I probably didn’t work hard enough on my short game.”

An honorary member at Wheatley, Garbutt said: “I always wanted to stay in golf after I quit because that is all I knew.

“I was fortunate to work as a player manager for International Golf Management, working with the likes of Rory Mcllroy, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and Ernie Els.

“I used to travel all over the world with them, taking care of things like contracts, sponsorships and giving advice to some of the younger guys on the books.

“The fact that I’d spent many years on the European Tour helped me win their respect.”

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