Paul Lawrie is constantly occupied with something. In fact, the Aberdeen, Scotland native has his fingers in so many pies that they’re probably permanently coated in suet crust.
“I’d rather have that than sit around doing nothing,” the 53-year-old remarked of the plethora of activities that keep him engaged, energized, and excited.
Management, mentoring, hosting events, and organizing tournaments? Lawrie can handle any situation. He still has time to entertain himself.
While he is now focused on competition in the golden oldies circuit, the opportunity to compete alongside the best in the world in the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews this July couldn’t be passed up.
Lawrie, who skipped last year’s Open at Sandwich, isn’t content with being a ceremonial golfer. For example, his decision to leave the European Tour (now called as the DP World Tour) was based on the harsh fact that he wasn’t competitive enough.
“Some of the arenas are so long that there’s no way I can travel around them anymore.” I’m not old or useless, but I can scuttle it a little more on the Old Course. He expressed his excitement, saying, “I’m looking forward to it.”
Lawrie and fellow Scot Marc Warren were right in the heart of it at the midway mark the last time The Open was played in the cradle of the game, in 2015.
“But it was the third round that killed me,” he said. “In that round, I played with Marc, and while we both played well, we putted horribly. We didn’t feed off of each other, thus we got left behind.”
Lawrie will compete in the Senior Open at Gleneagles, just a week after the season’s major celebration in St. Andrews. After a dismal performance in the 2021 edition of the over-50s major at Sunningdale, he’ll be looking for retribution this year.
“It was my only truly bad round of the year, and I was absolutely disgusted with the way I played, it was dreadful,” he said of his 36-hole round, which left him 11-over and on his way back up the road. During those two rounds, Lawrie played alongside famed compatriot Colin Montgomerie, but instead of feasting on the whole Monty, he toiled.
“I still have a little trouble playing with Monty,” said Lawrie of a man who exudes the kind of imposing presence that was once reserved for the Colossus of Rhodes. “He was perhaps the best Scottish player in my period, and if you play with him, you feel a little under pressure.”
He understands how golf writers feel when they have to ask Monty for a fast comment after he’s just three-putted the last.
Away from the golf course, Lawrie’s continuous efforts to cultivate talent and give opportunities for people in his hometown keep him going. His own Tartan Pro Tour, which began in 2020 to fill the hole left by the pandemic’s ravages, is growing in popularity, while the management side of things, backed by his own high-level experience, has resulted in plenty of pearls of wisdom being dispensed. There’s also been the occasional kick in the shins.
“I’ve been a player, so I understand how terrible it is to play poorly, and I enjoy throwing my arm around them,” he continued. “However, I enjoy giving them a scolding now and then, as I did with Adam Hunter” (his late coach).
“Adam was able to communicate with me and express himself. As a player, you’ll need that. You don’t require the services of a ‘yes’ man.
“How about that aforementioned Tartan Pro Tour, which announced a schedule of 15 events for 2021? Lawrie, on the other hand, is free to blow his trumpet.
He remarked of the fledgling development circuit, which offers lucrative invites to a series of European Challenge Tour events, “It’s doing a tremendous job.” “Some of the reward money we’re putting up is visible. Kieran Cantlay, for example, got $17,000 and a half for placing first in our order of merit. What we’ve accomplished for these players in such a short period of time is incredible.”
May it continue for a long time.