Armadale born and bred, Dalmahoy’s Head Professional Scott Dixon, aged 48, started out playing golf as a boy. He turned professional in 1992 and has a built a successful career out of the game working with an array of golfers from complete beginners to elite players. Over the years, he’s witnessed the sport’s popularity ebb and flow and is actively helping to encourage more people to take up golf.
“As with any sport, it’s important to encourage the next generation of players into the game, and for a golf club, it’s vital that we engage with all ages and levels of ability creating a welcoming environment that will only help to build our golfing business and golf community,” says Scott.
“Golf can often seem intimidating for a beginner with the rules and etiquette around dress code, the terminology and so on seemingly complex and potentially off-putting for those wanting to play. But it’s a fantastic sport, one of learning and discovery that can be picked up at any age. It provides huge benefits both physically and mentally, nothing can quite beat getting out into the fresh air, enjoying the interaction of play with family and friends."
“The game of golf needs more female players and young talent coming through. At Dalmahoy, we are working hard to attract beginners whether it’s to pay and play, sign up for a membership or accessible and enjoyable tuition, we provide a positive and welcoming environment with packages tailored to suit all levels.”
Scott turned professional in 1992 as trainee professional with Simon Boulden at Llandudno Golf Club in North Wales, after spending four fantastic years in Wales, Scott moved to The Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club in 1996 as Assistant Professional to Brian Anderson.
He has been lucky enough to have worked and trained with many top coaches and trainers from all over the world who have helped him shape not only his style of coaching but his own game - Kendal McWade, Karl Morris, Jamie Edwards, Eileen Auld and Tony Robbins are to name a few.
Scott believes that to improve your golf you need to develop all the skills the game requires. These skills include many different golf shots as well as the correct mental approach. Scott explains more about his own journey with golf and thoughts on the great game.
“I got into golf the way that many of my friends did, my father took me out when I was around eight years old. It wasn’t really an ambition of mine to become pro until I reached my mid-teens as I loved all sport when I was younger, football, basketball, athletics, but these all fell away with my focus firmly on golf after I had the opportunity to play in a member’s game at my father’s club in Bathgate. This was a huge tournament, the club championships and I made it through to the men’s semi-finals, which was a big deal."
"I turned pro four years later with the aim of becoming a club professional. At the tender age of 17 years old, I moved to Llandudno in Wales and stayed there for four years learning my trade. This gave me a fantastic grounding in the sport and taught me more than the game itself, I got an understanding of the business of golf and learned some valuable life skills."
"The move to Dalmahoy came in 1996, with my first day on April Fools’ Day and I’ve been there ever since. With around 27 years under my belt, I’ve seen many changes to the game. The pandemic created a unique spike in numbers but they’re starting to diminish again, which may come down to financial and time pressures. However, these are barriers we’re keen to address."
“There’s no denying golf is a challenging game; it does take time and dedication to get to a level where you can play but I believe that there’s still much mystery around golf and misinformation surrounding the game that needs to be addressed if we’re to attract new players."
“In Scotland, we are very lucky, there’s a huge variety of courses across the country, you can play inexpensively compared to many other countries. Golf is a unique sport, yes, it’s challenging but it’s also hugely enjoyable. You get to play outdoors, in some of the most beautiful settings. It’s sociable and strategic and can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. I would encourage anyone thinking of learning to play to come and try a lesson, your golf journey can start at any age.”
We asked Scott some quickfire questions:
Which golfers do you admire and why?
“The player that changed everything for me is Tiger Woods. We’ve never seen golf like this before, his creativity, excitement and sheer power and showmanship on the course is unbeatable. If Hollywood had designed a golfer, they’ve have designed Tiger Woods!”
What have been the highlights of your career to date?
“Achieving Head Golf Pro status at Dalmahoy in 2012. It was a great honour! Dalmahoy captures everything that’s great about golf, traditional, fair and honest parkland courses designed by James Braid, there’s a classic and pure quality to them.”
Name one course you haven’t played but would like to?
“The legendary Pebble Beach courses in California. Located between Monterey and Carmel, it’s no surprise that Pebble Beach Golf Links is the number one public course in the country with its spectacular sea views. It has been the site of the US Open six times and is set to host the tournament again in 2027.”
What do you consider the greatest shot of your career?
“I had an epiphany after I hit a shot at the 8th hole at Brora Golf Club, by focusing on mindfulness, I found my authentic swing, a free and powerful shot with a 3 iron.”
"I wanted to take up golf in my retirement, but never had the courage to go out on the course. I attended Golf for Beginners and On The Course Learning and found Scott’s style together with that combination of courses, to be ideally suited to my needs. Scott’s approach is to coach rather than to teach, encouraging the individual to develop his or her awareness and understanding of why the ball behaves as it does, so that modifications to the conditions at impact can be made to improve the outcome. His style is encouraging, supportive and fun, and the emphasis is on enjoying the game. I now feel more confident, and thoroughly enjoy a round of golf with friends."
"After having played golf infrequently (and pretty badly) for a number of years I signed up for some one-on-one lessons at Dalmahoy with Scott Dixon. I have had lessons in the past but found the teaching methods employed by Scott very easy to understand and get to grips with. Even after the first lesson there was a considerable and sustained difference to my game. Having now had a number of lessons to say there is a marked difference would be a huge understatement. Progression is a big motivator and I am now playing and, more importantly, enjoying golf more than ever before."