Strathpeffer Spa Golf Club champion realises his dream 45 years after joining as a member
Get the Ross-shire Journal sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
Good things come to those who wait. And James Garrow has waited a long time.
The 68-year-old finally got his hands on the trophy he wanted for decades claiming the Strathpeffer Spa Golf Club Championship.
His success came after finishing runner-up four times between 1984 and 1991.
After a 29-year wait to reach the final again, he held his nerve after being taken to an extra hole before defeating Scott Duff to win the tournament.
Originally from Dingwall but now living in Conon Bridge, Garrow has been a member of the Strathpeffer club for over 45 years. He said he never gave up hope his name would be engraved on the winners board.
“There was times that I would sit in the clubhouse and I felt I was always good enough to get my name on the board,” he said.
“It means a lot to me, you will always get people who come up to you and say there is always next year.
“They’d say you are too good not to get your name up there.
“But you do your best and it doesn’t work out.
“The younger boys can hit the ball further than me, but I feel I can stick in there for my own game to come good and that is what happened.
“I can play steady and I get a lot of credit for my age to be able to do that.”
Garrow produced good golf to win his quarter final by three up and semi final by two up. But despite being level with Duff after 18 holes, Garrow was determined not to let the pressure get to him.
“I was actually very calm.
“In previous finals, I was playing a finalist who was very good and I just wanted to go as far as possible.
“I don’t think I have been as calm from the qualifying rounds to the final.
“I really enjoyed it even when I was behind in the game. I never gave up hope and stayed calm, kept going and got my chance.
“I got the best of him at the 19th with a birdie and that was good enough.”
Garrow also used to play football for Ross County in the 1970’s and played for a number of amateur teams in his career including Dingwall Thistle and Blackmuir.
Garrow says he will be looking forward to competing at next year’s tournament.
He said after he waited so long to become Strathpeffer champion and getting his name on the board, he will be looking for a successful defence in 2021.
He said: “I will be teeing up to defend my title next year and maybe some of the younger boys will be looking over their shoulders.”