WHEN you’re a professional golfer and your husband is your coach and occasional caddie, an 82 in the opening round of a qualifying school final would probably test the strongest of wedding vows. “He needed to do a lot of cheerleading after that to keep me going,” reflected Laura Beveridge with a chuckle. “But he’s ever the optimist.”

That particular calamity for Beveridge arrived on day one of the Ladies European Tour’s annual, five-round scramble for cards just before Christmas. She may have been bottom of the pile at that point but, spurred on by hubby Keil’s unwavering positivity, the Alford golfer embarked on a mighty salvage operation that was akin to raising the High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow. By the end of the q-school examination, Beveridge had hauled herself into the top-20 and had secured a tour card for 2022. It was a rousing recovery.

“I’ll not lie, that 82 was hard to take,” said Beveridge of an opening round that just about led to her requiring snookers to get back into the running. “Keil just said to me, ‘well, I guess we go out in round two and have fun’. The only thing I could control was my attitude. I played great and got some momentum.”

Regaining her playing rights on a rejuvenated Ladies European Tour put the tin lid on an enjoyable, eventful 2021. Beveridge tied the knot with Keil in October while the Kippie Lodge pair appeared in front of the TV cameras for a BBC Alba documentary on Scottish golf.

“They made a good editing job,” Beveridge added with a wry chortle of their outing on the small screen. “Keil ticks all the boxes for me. To be honest, he’s not that competitive and I think that’s why it works on the course. Whatever I’m doing and whatever I’m saying about my golf, he’ll always throw something positive back at me. He’s been my cheerleader since day one. But the one thing we don’t talk about when we get home is golf.”

As for a romantic honeymoon? Well, a full playing diary and some Brexit kerfuffle has put that on the backburner. “I need to save my EU days for my season instead of a honeymoon,” she said of this additional hassle for players from the British Isles. “You get 90 days in the EU within a 180 day period. Last year, for instance, in order to avoid exceeding my allowance, I had to fly into Spain for an event the day before it started. In terms of preparation, that’s not ideal. But there's nothing we can do.”

In her formative sporting years, all-rounder Beveridge was a canny footballer. She played alongside future Arsenal women’s captain Kim Little back in their junior days in the Granite City but injury would lead to golf becoming Beveridge’s main focus.

“I played at Hampden in the Scottish Schools finals and I had trials for Scotland,” reflected the 33-year-old. “But at 16, I damaged my cruciate ligament and that was it. Golf became much more appealing after that.”

With a fine amateur pedigree – she won the St Rule Trophy, the Scottish Women’s Championship and the order of merit in her final year in the paid ranks a decade ago – Beveridge is still waiting on the big moment that can ignite her pro career.

Having taken on a winter job in a local supermarket a couple of years ago when the Ladies European Tour schedule was worryingly barren, Beveridge hopes a robust series of events in 2022 can bring fulfilment and financial reward.

“Yes, I would’ve liked to have made a name for myself and have earned a bit more by this stage but I enjoy what I do more than ever now,” she said. “I’m more light-hearted and easier on myself on the course. I was hitting balls on the range next to Anna Nordqvist (the Women’s Open champion) at an event last year and thought ‘I’m hitting it way better than she is’. It’s all fine margins. Once you get a couple of good results, it changes how you see yourself and how you carry yourself.

“When I was working in the supermarket, people would say ‘you’re a pro golfer, why are you here?’ But the playing opportunities weren't there. This year, it’s different. There’s real opportunity and I have high hopes. Whatever happens, the q-school shows that I’ll not go down without a fight.”