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Scotland Region

Gillies on being a 'poacher turned gamekeeper' in PGA role

30 Jul 18

SCOTLAND Gillies Web

It was the reaction he expected. "The phrase that is getting thrown about is poacher turned gamekeeper, which is probably quite apt," said Colin Gillies, laughing.

The Falkirk man was revealing what he's heard from players he once competed against on the Tartan Tour to him having recently become a tournament controller with the PGA in Scotland.

Gillies, a former assistant to Bernard Gallacher at Wentworth, is no ordinary player when it comes to the Tartan Tour.

He was the first player to break the £500,000 barrier in career earnings on the circuit and 

remains its all-time leading money winner with £513,747, a record that is unlikely to be beaten.

He chalked up over 120 victories on the Scottish scene before niggling injuries ended his playing career but now he's back at his old workplace in a different role.

"I had looked at a few different things," he said. "I was meant to go to Germany at the start of the year but I had a blackout before Christmas and wasn't allowed to travel.

"This PGA in Scotland opportunity came along and I spoke to both Shona Malcolm and Glen McPhee before going through the interview process.

"There's been a bit to learn obviously, but I had a decent start as I knew how it all worked and it has been really good so far. 

"Germany was disappointing, but I'm glad now looking back as I think this is going to be really good for me."

Gillies, whose wins included a Scottish PGA Championship at Dalmahoy in 1995 and also at Newmachar three years later, added: "I was a wee bit apprehensive about how the guys would react but there's been nothing but positive reaction to me being back out there in a different role. 

"They've all been really good and, at the end of the day, I know the highs and lows of trying to make a living on the Tartan Tour.

"I won most money during my time on the circuit. I don't know if that means I was the best or was just out there too long."

One thing that his new job is unlikely to do is restore his hunger for playing again, having closed that chapter on his career.

"It will be three years right now since I was on a golf course playing," he said. "I don't actually own a set of golf clubs now, I'm ashamed to say. I kept a couple of old putters for old time's sake but that's it. 

"When I've done it all my life and had a bit of success doing it, when injuries kick in there's too much frustration and not satisfaction.

"It was great when it lasted and absolutely no regrets as it was good fun. But now I've got a new career in golf and I'm enjoying it."

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