Jedburgh golfer Rob Reid hoping winter league success heralds start of winning streak
Jedburgh’s Rob Reid might only be a novice golfer, having just started playing regularly seven months ago, but he’s now notched up his first win and he’s hoping it’s not down to beginners’ luck.
Army veteran Rob edged out Hawick’s Craig Richardson, by 80 points to 75, to win Minto Golf Club’s latest winter league, as reported in this week’s Southern, and he’s keeping his fingers crossed that that triumph will herald the start of a run of victories now the sport’s summer season is getting under way.
The 37-year-old is delighted to have got off to a winning start in the game, telling us: “It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a good feeling.”
He plays off a handicap of 23 at the moment but he’s hoping to knock that down a bit over the coming months.
“I think I’m better than my handicap is telling me, so hopefully over the summer I can get it down to maybe 16 or 17. That’s my target,” he said.
Rob had played sporadically prior to last year but hadn’t had time before then to get out on the greens as often as he’d have liked due to work commitments for the various, often concurrent part-time jobs in car sales, postal delivery, dog-walking, farming, gardening and for Live Borders he’d held down after leaving the army in 2011, as well as his responsibilities as herald for Jethart Callants’ Festival since 2019 and bringing up daughters Poppy, five, and Matilda, three, with wife Katie, 40.
Now, though, he’s just doing one job full-time, as a forklift truck driver for Oregon Timber Frame in Selkirk, and his home-town’s festival is still on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so he’s had more scope to get out and about with his clubs for a round with friends including former Jedburgh butcher Allan Learmonth, a pastime made a more attractive proposition still by virtue of golf being one of the few sports permitted by the Scottish Government during the lockdown now gradually being lifted.
“I’d played a bit before, nothing serious, just to be sociable and see some of my pals and get something to eat after,” Rob recalled.
“It was one of my pals, Allan Learmonth, who persuaded me to join up at Minto as he’s been a member there for 20-odd years, and I’ve been loving it.
“It’s good to get out and meet new people, and Allan’s taught me a lot too.
“It’s been a challenge as well as I’ve only got the one eye so it’s given me something to concentrate on and try to improve at.”
Rob lost an eye in a roadside bomb blast in 2008, also suffering leg injuries, while serving as a lance corporal with the Royal Scots Borderers, the first battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, attached to the Scots Guards at the time, near Basra in Iraq, leading to his medical discharge three years later after an 11-year military career.