15th February 2024
Dean Robertson has been appointed as the new Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Men’s Captain by The R&A.
Robertson, who was born in Canada on 11th July 1970, will begin his initial two-year term by captaining GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy match being played at Royal Porthcawl G.C. on 25th-26th July 2024. He will then look forward to taking the reins at the 50th Walker Cup match at Cypress Point Club in California on 6th-7th September 2025.
“To have represented Great Britain and Ireland in the St Andrews Trophy and the Walker Cup was the pinnacle of my amateur career and an incredible privilege,” said Robertson.“Now to have the honour of captaining Great Britain and Ireland is something I could not have imagined but it is one that I am thrilled about. I very much look forward to working closely with the players for the matches ahead with an important focus on being well prepared and playing to win.”
Dean Robertson (Photo: University of Stirling)
Robertson, the long standing High Performance Golf Coach at the University of Stirling, has a wealth of experience and no doubt will be a popular appointment.
The 53 year old has run a hugely successful golf program at Stirling over the last 14 years and has become a highly regarded coach to a number of amateur and professional players.
He has also been Head Coach (2009) and Assistant Head Coach (2016) of the European Arnold Palmer Cup team winning both an away and home match against USA.
Robertson, as a Cochrane Castle member, enjoyed a notable amateur career with victories in the 1991 Scottish Youths, 1992 Scottish Amateur Stoke Play and 1993 Scottish Amateur Championships.
He earned a golf scholarship at Midland College in Texas which aided his development.
He was part of the victorious GB&I side in the St Andrews Trophy match at Royal Cinque Ports in 1992 contributing two singles wins, including one against future Ryder Cup player Niclas Fasth, and a foursomes success in his four outings.
The following year Robertson played in the 1993 Walker Cup match at Interlachen C.C. In a 19.0-5.0 defeat he picked up a 3&2 singles victory on the rain-affected opening day against American amateur great Jay Sigel.
He turned pro after his Walker Cup appearance and secured a European Tour card at the 1994 Q-School. The highlight of his 14 year professional career, which saw him win €1.9m in prize money, came in 1999 when he beat Padraig Harrington by 1-shot to win the Italian Open.
Following in the footsteps of compatriot Catriona Matthew, who is captaining the GB&I Curtis Cup team this year, Robertson, who will become the first GB&I men’s captain to have been a professional golfer*.
He succeeds fellow Scotsman Stuart Wilson and becomes the 17th Scottish captain and third consecutive Scotsman to take the role.
GB&I have lost the last four Walker Cup matches and no Scotsman has ever captained a winning Walker Cup team. If Robertson is to break these two runs he will require all of his coaching and man-management skills and above all the emergence of some genuine playing talent in the next 18 months.
On a side note The R&A announcement stated that the appointment was for a “two year term” which potentially still leaves the door ajar for Paul McGinley to take up the role when the 51st Walker Cup match is played at his beloved Lahinch G.C. in Ireland in 2026. McGinley had been strongly rumoured to be the ‘name in the frame’ for 2024 but perhaps stepped back from the position as lucrative US television commentating opportunities have recently opened up for him.
*Two USA captains to date were previously professionals. Jim Holtgrieve (2011, 2013) turned professional in 1998 aged 50 and played on the Champions Tour for a few years. His amateur status was re-instated by the USGA in 2007. Nathaniel Crosby (2019, 2021), was a professional golfer primarily on the European Tour between 1984-87.
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