Jason Long heads for Europe’s largest pro-am

Ricky Duckett
Ricky Duckett

A postman who fulfilled a lifelong ambition by becoming a member at Fort William is set to represent the golf club in Europe’s largest pro-am.

Jason Long, 43, will tee up alongside his PGA Professional Ricky Duckett at The K Club regional final on Monday.

The winners will head into an £80,000 grand final over Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course, host to last year’s Ryder Cup, on September 1-2.

Long lived close to the course at Fort William as a child and would jump over the fence and onto the course with a couple of friends to play a couple of holes after school.

After dropping golf for a number of years in favour of football, Long returned to the game aged 30 when his wife bought him a membership to the club.

“Growing up so close to the course there were only ever two things I wanted to do as an adult,” he recalled.

“Buy a house and become a member at Fort William.

“We used to sneak in and play a hole or two as kids and I always dreamt of finally being able to become a full member of the club.

“To represent Fort William in this tournament will be amazing, and if we could make it to Gleneagles then it would be something to talk about for years!

“I’m nervous but fully looking forward to it – and I’m feeling refreshed as I’ve just got back from a family holiday in Spain.

“Now I just need to get some practice in and see how well we can do when we get there.”

Long, who also enjoys running, has a good relationship with pro Duckett who has travelled to play golf in destinations including the Middle East, Asia and South America.

“I’ve had lessons with Ricky and he just breaks everything down so well, he puts it in layman’s terms for you,” he explained.

“I’ve known him for a long time as he was the assistant at the club when I joined.

“Hopefully he’ll keep me straight when we go out there for the regional final.”