Brewin Dolphin’s Douglas Montgomerie on his favourite golfing memories and why golf is good for business
Douglas Montgomerie has had a front row seat to one of European golf’s greatest careers, and he has far too many fascinating stories to fit into a single round.
He has been by the side of his younger brother Colin throughout his career, from watching him represent Yorkshire as an amateur to knowing what was going through his mind during the most tense moments of 10 Ryder Cups.
Based in Gosforth, Newcastle with his wife Eve and sons Alastair, 21, and Fergus, 18, Douglas joined Brewin Dolphin as a consultant in 2018 having built his career in banking after moving to the North East in 1994.
A member of Northumberland Golf Club, we caught up with him to learn more about his own golf, share some of his favourite memories, and more…
1 How much golf do you play?
I play competitively every Saturday afternoon with friends at Northumberland and my current handicap is seven. Socially, I’ve being playing a lot more since joining Brewin Dolphin, meeting clients and getting to know people all across the region.
2 How did you get into golf?
I had no choice! My father is a very keen golfer and Colin and I had clubs in our hands from a very early age. My grandparents retired to Troon so we spent a lot of time there growing up playing golf as a family too. At home in Yorkshire, where we moved when I was seven, I played a bit but never to the level that Colin did as I was off playing all the team sports. My father went on to serve as secretary at Royal Troon and is the club’s president today, so I still visit Troon regularly and play there.
3 Which is your favourite course in the North East?
I’m a big fan of Northumberland and I really enjoy the course. Away from home, the coastal courses – Alnmouth, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh – are all tremendous locations.
4 And further afield?
Troon is very special because of our family connections there. Turnberry is a spectacular golf course too, particularly following the recent design changes.
5 What’s your best ever round?
In competitive rounds, I’ve shot 75 in a medal at Northumberland and have posted a 73 at Ilkley, along with many higher scores.
6 Which is your favourite golfing memory?
The 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills was very special. I was there with my uncle and father, and Bernhard Langer had a young European team that had a great chance to overcome the Americans on home turf, which they managed to do in great style. The majority of the Ryder Cups when Colin played weren’t always ‘fun’ – particularly when the matches got a bit tight late in the day – but they were always memorable. We could feel every shot with him.
7 What about embarrassing moments?
Five putting in a medal round – I was concentrating over three of them!
8 Do you have any superstitions?
I have quite the collection of pink tees and I always mark my ball with a Leeds United marker.
9 What are your strengths on the course?
I’m not a long hitter so I tend to favour plotting my way round. I also tend to rely on my short game these days.
10 And your weaknesses?
I’m not long off the tee these days, which I have to manage with, and I hate slow play.
11 Which is your favourite club?
My nine iron, which I use a lot around the greens.
12 Who are your best golfing friends?
Keith Atkinson, Andy Marwick, Steve Nicholson and Ian Henderson – we all play together regularly on Saturdays at Northumberland.
13 How does playing golf help your work?
So many sporting occasions are terrible for business, but golf is perfect for getting to know people. It’s a chance to share experiences and build a bond over your shared interest, from there you can talk about just about anything.
14 Who is your favourite tour player?
Do I have to say Colin? Of the younger guys, Dustin Johnson is incredibly impressive. He never looks like he’s out of second gear and he plays with such ease. The ability to play to that level while looking as though you are well within yourself is a real skill. Brooks Koepka has the same ability.
15 Which event do you enjoy attending?
The Masters was special, though it’s 20 years since I was there. Sun City in South Africa is a spectacular place with the nature reserve just beyond the border of the course.
16 Who do you admire?
Tiger Woods coming back from his surgeries is incredibly inspiring as a sporting story. In my work, Simon Lenny at Barclays handled big picture thinking brilliantly. Finally, I’d pick my father and brother. My father is 89 now and his generation is incredibly inspiring while Colin’s consistency and will to achieve his goals is very admirable.
17 Which three people would join you in your dream fourball?
I’d pick golfers and I’d start with Colin as he doesn’t intimidate me on the course – I can remember when he wasn’t quite so good! I’d love to play with Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods to try and learn something from them.
18 If I could offer you a lottery win or a scratch handicap, which would you choose?
I’d take the lottery win as it would last a lot longer.