Ian Taylor may have called time on his stint as the PGA Pro at Drumpellier but he has no plans yet to stop the refereeing role he’s enjoyed over the past 20 years.
“It came about after an event at Dalmahoy where there had been a rules incident,” he recalled. “The PGA was doing a course on the rules three weeks later, so I went and came out with the highest mark in the small exam and totally enthralled with it all.
“Steve Cox, who was Head of Tournaments at the time and is now with the PGA Tour, asked me to help at an event and it just went from there.
“Steve’s assistant was Kevin Feeney, who is now with the European Tour, and the training and understanding that they gave me allowed me to move up the events ladder very quickly.
“In 2001, I did my first Seniors Tour event and my first European Tour was in 2004. So far I have been involved in about 150 events.”
They have involved two Ryder Cups – the 2010 match at Celtic Manor then then 2014 contest on home soil at Gleneagles.
“I have had an incredible time,” he added. “I’ve had trips all over Europe and also been to Mauritius and over to the States, but the highlights have to be my two Ryder Cups.
“Wales was so unique because of the weather and it was my first time with the new first tee experience – that first morning was like being at a football match without the animosity.
“Gleneagles was also fantastic because of the weather and it was also at home. I suppose the fact they resulted in two victories for Europe also helped, as did the fantastic team of refs and staff that we had at both events.”
The rules, of course, have been in the spotlight a fair bit so far this year after some changes introduced by the R&A and USGA at the start of 2019.
“On the whole, I think the team at the R&A and USGA have done a good job,” said Taylor. “When I have played with my friends this year, it is apparent that the new language has allowed them to understand the rules more, and many of the changes have allowed us to play quicker.
“I can only hope that works across the board because it will help everyone enjoy the game even more.”
Taylor intends playing a bit more himself after leaving Drumpellier after a 13-year stint that he describes as “the best years of my career”.
He added: “Leaving has been full of mixed emotions. I am loving having weekends off, but really missing spending most of my time with golfers
“The job has changed dramatically over the years in many ways. Retail is extremely challenging so PGA Pro’s have got better at doing everything.
“The customer service levels are now through the roof and the use of technology is staggering, from communication methods, teaching & fitting systems and business management tools, but at its heart the goal is to help people enjoy golf every time they come to the club.”