End of an Era

Today is Frank and Sheila’s last day at Deeside before Frank commences his much deserved retirement after 32 years service at the Club.

Frank gave me the opportunity to be his assistant twelve years ago this month, my first full time job, at arguably the best inland private members golf club in Scotland. During these twelve years I’ve grown professionally and personally under Franks reign.

Frank often says that all aspiring young professionals should have spent a week with Frank Rennie at Prestwick. In my opinion all aspiring young professionals should have spent a week at Deeside with Frank and I am privileged to have been the only one in the last twelve years.

We’ve had many good times in the Professional Shop. My favourite morning was always Tuesdays. Lucky for me it was a half day but for Frank it was the first day of his working week after only one day off (Monday’s). Quite often Frank would be met by several electric trolleys needing repaired; tens of emails needing his response; numerous phone calls plus Tuesday mornings are historically busy with ladies competitions & general play up until 13.00. Nevertheless we always got through it (just) and I skipped off home at 13.00 for a relaxing afternoon off whilst Frank played catch up.

Deeside is comfortably one of the busiest inland private members clubs in Scotland and this was always the case when I was on the driving range teaching. You can betcha that every man and his dog appeared at Deeside during that 30 minute lesson. Nevertheless on my return to the Professional Shop I would tell Frank to check his pockets as this would be the location he will have misplaced one of his PowaKaddy tools having spent the previous 20 minutes frantically searching the Professional Shop.

I’ll always remember speaking to David Murchie, Head Professional at Crieff Golf Club before I embarked on a career within Golf. On David’s first day as an assistant professional at Crieff, his boss John Stark took his set of golf clubs and stuck them in the cupboard… “you won’t be needing these again” he said. Right enough once you embark on a career in the Professional Shop you really don’t get to see much of the golf course despite the first tee only being a pitching distance away. I could count on two hands (in a good year) the number of rounds Frank played. His commitment and loyalty to the Club was second to none such are the number of hours he worked and lack of holidays he took. Hopefully in Franks retirement he can make up for the lack of rounds played and holidays abroad… I know he won’t miss his 5.30am alarm clock every Saturday.

Today marks the end of an era. Despite being unable to give Frank & Sheila the send off they deserve due to the pandemic, I’m sure we’ll all raise a glass (or two) for them whilst we reminisce about all the happy memories provided by the Couttsers during our visits to Deeside.

Frank & Sheila, thank you for everything you have done for me. I wish you all the very best in your retirement… you deserve it!

“Take time to smell the roses”.

Your colleague, your friend,




I am a big advocate of setting goals whether it is personal or sporting/golfing related.

Now that we have welcomed in 2021 it’s time to write down some of your own.

Some examples of goals that you could set are as follows: to achieve a specific handicap index; to improve an area of your game; to win a competition; to play a couple bucket list courses.

To achieve the above ‘long term’ goals you’ll need to set some short & medium term goals. Whilst it may sound silly you are not going to be able to just turn up to a ‘bucket list’ course. There’s a process which will involve setting a potential date (short term) and completing the booking process (medium term) before you can achieve that long term goal of playing your dream golf course.

I want you all to write down two long term golfing goals for 2021 (feel free to share them with me). For each long term goal I want you to write a short and medium term goal to help you get to this final destination.

My two goals for 2021 are as follows:

1) To naturally fade the golf ball on the golf course. To get to this final destination I will need to practice more frequently, once a week (short term) and get my club path on Trackman to between -1.5 and -3 consistently (medium).

2) Improve my strokes gained putting performance. To achieve this I will need to identify and implement changes to my set-up (short term) and complete a number of target based drills to improve the launch direction of my putts (medium).

Whether it’s to improve your handicap index, win tournaments, have fun or increase your distance let’s work together in 2021 to achieve these goals.

Good luck!