Paul Moultrie is living proof it’s never too late to set golf goals. If that was the case then the 56-year-old Scotsman wouldn’t be playing at Ganton Golf Club this week in the Senior Amateur Championship.
The plus 2 handicapper returned a level par 71 in yesterday’s opening round over the glorious Yorkshire course to share the lead. He’s teeing it up this week with the best seniors in the British Isles thanks to a dream he had when reached his 45th birthday.
“I set myself a goal when I was 45 that I would play for Scotland and play in the Senior Amateur when I turned 55," he said. “By being fortunate and through a lot of hard work, a lot of tough days on the practice putting green, here I am.”
Moultrie, a three-time club champion at Open Championship venue Royal Troon and four-time champion at Western Gailes where he also holds membership, reached his goal of playing for Scotland shortly after his 55th birthday. He turned out for his country in the Senior Home Internationals and then the Senior European Team Championships.
He was supposed to make his debut in the Senior Amateur last year until Covid-19 forced postponement. But here he is this year, living the dream.
“I was looking forward to playing last year, but Covid took care of that. I’m just happy to be here competing in this great championship.”
The chartered surveyor has been as low as plus 3.4, which he achieved when he turned 50. It was in that year he decided to try his hand at qualifying for the European Senior Tour. Not that he had dreams of becoming a dominant force in senior golf.
“I didn’t go because I wanted to turn pro, I wanted to see how I got on, how I measured up to the European Tour players. It was nice competing against good Scottish players like Stephen McAllister, Ross Drummond, Andrew Oldcorn and others. They were extremely good to me, and I learned a lot from them.
“Twice I missed by a shot, but I really enjoyed competing against the professionals, and it gave me an idea of where my game was. I love playing with the pros, but that’s not my job. I love amateur golf. It gives me a buzz.”
Why wouldn’t it, especially when he’s knocked off a couple of long term goals. He might even walk with the Senior Amateur winner's gold medal if he plays like he did yesterday.
We’re constantly reminded of the goals star players set for themselves. How often have we heard players say I want to be world number one, or win The Open, the Masters, etc. Tiger Woods' dream of matching Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors is arguably the most famous instance of golf goal setting. Other tour players set long and short term goals. Often not shared. Rory McIlroy used to write down his season long goals on the boarding pass for the flight to his first event of each season. Not sure where he writes his season long goals nowadays – McIlroy hasn’t flown commercial for probably 10 years.
Goals are also good for ordinary handicap golfers too, whether you’re a single digit or double figure player. It gives us all something to aim for.
It’s never too late.
What are your long term golf goals?
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