We’ve said it plenty of times before but we may as well say it again. Scottish golf is very lucky to have Paul Lawrie.

His various acts of philanthropy down the seasons would’ve made Andrew Carnegie look like a miser while his passion and dedication for putting something back into a game which has given him plenty remains wonderfully undiminished.

Many a toast has been made to Lawrie’s accomplishments and endeavours over the years and his latest joint-venture will no doubt have the members of the toiling Tartan Tour popping a few bottle tops and yanking the odd ring-pull in glass-clinking appreciation.

In partnership with BrewDog, the Aberdeenshire-based craft beer company that has enjoyed the kind of rapid rise usually reserved for vessels of space exploration, Lawrie has helped give the historic Northern Open a timely tonic. And, my goodness, it needed it.


With BrewDog coming on board as title sponsors for this June’s tournament at Lossiemouth, and Lawrie’s Five Star Sports Agency taking on the promotion of it, the Northern Open will be energised with a £25,000 prize fund.

In recent years, the Northern Open, one of the oldest professional events in the country which boasts a roll of honour featuring decorated names like John Panton, Eric Brown, George Will, Harry Bannerman and Brian Barnes, had lost so much lustre there was just about rust forming around the trophy’s plinth.

Last season, it was reduced to a 36-holer with the eventual winner, Alastair Forsyth, picking up a modest prize of around £800.

As the domestic Tartan Tour continues to face up to a variety of financial challenges, this cherished old contest was in danger of simply withering on the vine. Lawrie, who served his apprenticeship on the Scottish PGA circuit, decided to act.


“When I saw the results from last year and the prize, I thought ‘Whoa, this should not be happening,” said the 1999 Open champion.

“This tournament is too important and it’s got too much history for it to just be a 36-holer for 800 quid. It’s just not right.

“So I approached James Ward, one of the co-founders of BrewDog and one of our premier partners with other things we do.

“He’d bought some lessons with me at an auction for our Foundation and it was during one of these lessons that I said ‘I’m thinking of taking on the Northern Open because it’s a shame how it has gone’. He said he’d love to be involved.”


Lawrie played in the Northern Open a number of times and his Foundation actually sponsored the event back in 2014. For a north-east man, the tournament has always been close to his heart while the venture to Lossiemouth this season will stir the senses.

“My mum and dad had a caravan just along the road at Hopeman so I played Lossiemouth loads of times as a kid,” he reflected. “I also won the Scottish Alliance title there many years ago.

“When I first played on the Tartan Tour there were maybe 10 or 11 proper tournaments and it was a great place to cut your teeth.

“I played with Brian Barnes one year in the Northern Open and he was a huge star at the time.

“But now the tour needs help and I’m keen to get involved. Let’s get the Northern Open back up where it belongs.”