HIS season may have been curtailed and condensed but it was certainly fulfilling. “In total, I played seven events and won twice,” reflected Ross Cameron of a whirlwind campaign that was shorter than Jimmy Krankie's semmit. “There wasn’t much time to build up a head of steam, put it that way. I just had to hit the ground running.”

As a popular stalwart of the Tartan Tour, Cameron finally reaped the rewards of his long, unwavering labours at the golfing coalface with victory in the cherished Northern Open at the start of September before swiftly joining such luminaries as John Panton, Bernard Gallacher, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance and Paul Lawrie on the Scottish PGA Championship trophy with victory in the domestic circuit's flagship event a couple of weeks later. 

It was a triumphant double whammy that put a shimmering silver lining on a year shrouded in the clouds of covid.

A professional since the age of 18, Cameron’s career has been one of dogged determination. With an unyielding passion for the game, the 41-year-old has been on so many tours down the seasons, he could get honorary membership of the Caravan and Motorhome Club. 

If he wasn’t chipping away on the Tartan Tour then he’d be making outings on the Alps Tour or perhaps the EuroPro Tour with a bit of the Pro Golf Tour flung in and the odd appearance on the Challenge Tour for good measure.

Only once has he played in a full European Tour event, and that came in October when his reward for winning the Tartan Tour’s order of merit earned him a tee-time for the Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews. Good things do come to those who wait.

“I completed my PGA training back in 2000 and set out to take on the world,” said Cameron with a reflective chuckle. “I did set some lofty goals, I was always ambitious. One of them was to play in a Ryder Cup. And then I quickly realised it would be a bit harder than I thought. I wrote all my goals down in a little book. I still have that book. And I’m still working on many of the goals.”

Cameron may not have scaled the giddy heights that his youthful exuberance eagerly mapped out 20 years ago but his drive, dedication and discipline has never diminished. Neither has his patience and perseverance. 

“The love of golf keeps me going,” said the Peterhead man. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do.  There are always low points when you question what you are doing but resilience is a huge thing in golf. You have to be able to pick yourself up and keep going. People have asked me down the years, ‘how long will you keep going?’ and I’ll always say ‘well, until I have lost my enthusiasm or until I run out of my money’. If I have that I’ll keep going.”

Pursuing golfing dreams, at whatever level, doesn’t come cheaply, of course. His loyal, long-standing sponsor, Saltire Energy, has certainly helped – “I couldn’t do it without them” – but Cameron has never been afraid to roll up the sleeves and find other ways to pay the bills and finance his ambitions.

“In normal winters before coronavirus I would maybe get jobs to keep me going,” he said. “I’ve been a postman, I’ve done bar work, I've worked in Argos. This year has been a bit different, though, and after three weeks of lockdown earlier in the year I got a job in a supermarket. I still have it and will keep it on until, hopefully, we start playing again in April. 

"It’s obviously a bit removed from what you think you’d be doing but I actually find it’s good because it’s not golf. You can get consumed by it. In any other year, you tend to be thinking about golf 24/7. But working in the supermarket has brought a bit more balance to my life. Perhaps that was a contributing factor to how well I played this year? The season was only two months long but it’s been my best year.”

Whatever 2021 has in store remains in the lap of the golfing gods but Cameron will confront it with his usual, tireless zeal and admirable intention. “If I had to sum up my career, in a harsh way, I’d say I’ve been slow to learn,” he said of a game that always teaches you a lesson. “But I’ve never stopped dreaming of playing on the main tour and making a living out of it. The chances get smaller and smaller each year but I’ve always felt I’m capable of more. You have to be ambitious. It keeps you going.”