ANYONE who has ever experienced the union betwixt golf club and ba’ knows fine well that there is no fast-track to success in this wonderfully infuriating game.

One minute you’re gazing in stunned reverence as a rarely flushed 5-iron sails majestically towards its intended target.

The next you’re cursing and muttering at your shattering incompetence as you howk at a dinky chip with all the elegance of a farmhand mucking out a byre.

It’s a funny, maddening old game which requires the kind of teeth-grinding perseverance that got Ranulph Fiennes through an Antarctic trek.

Euan McIntosh has certainly displayed plenty of sturdy resolve in a journey which has taken him from the cringing futility of a 90 in the local medal just five years ago to a place among the elite on the European over-50s scene.

His success in the Staysure Tour’s qualifying school last week – he grabbed the second of just five cards on offer – means he will turn professional for the second time in his career, 30 years after he first ventured into the paid ranks.

In between times, the Glasgow-born golfer worked in Germany and Singapore and was re-instated as an amateur.

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That particular chapter of his career saw him return to the Scotland international team while, at the age of 49 in 2018, he became the oldest player since the bold Charlie Green in 1983 to win the Scottish Amateur Championship title.

It’s been a rewarding spell and one characterised by graft, drive, sacrifice and determination.

“When I started playing amateur golf again in August 2015 I shot 90 in two medals but because they were NRs as I was too embarrassed to put the cards in,” the 50-year-old reflected.

“I had the yips with the pitching and the putting and it was just a nightmare.

“All I had before golf-wise had gone. I was starting with a blank canvas and the canvas was pretty grim.

“I remember going out for nine holes at Turnhouse with my dad.

“I was standing over the ball and after about a minute he said, ‘What are you doing?’. I said, ‘I’ve no idea where this is going to go’. He said, ‘All that money I spent on you as a kid and this is what it’s come to’.”

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It would have been easy for McIntosh to toss in the towel on this second coming but he was clearly made of sterner stuff.

Jack Nicklaus used to say that “golfers are masochists” and McIntosh set off on a defiant quest for improvement and fulfilment.

“I decided to keep going and not let golf get the better of me,” he said.

The work ethic he demonstrated in his late 40s was in contrast to the carefree approach he adopted as a young’ un. You live and learn eh?

“When I first turned pro at 20, 21, I didn’t do it properly,” he admitted.

“I had the ability but mentally I was nowhere near the standard required and I just didn’t dedicate myself. I just liked to go out and have a bit of fun.

“Golf perhaps came too easy. But when you are playing against good golfers you have to put in as much as they are and I wasn’t. If you don’t do, you’ll fail.

“That’s always been on mind since I started this journey. I just told myself not to repeat the same mistakes as the first time.”

He didn’t and he has now reaped the rewards. “When I saw a bit of success coming the penny dropped. It’s taken a long time for the that penny to drop... but it has.”