There’s a strong feeling, though, that things are just getting started with some of the players currently flying the Saltire on the main professional tours while exciting young amateur talent is also coming through the ranks.
In fact, this list could easily have been double the size - Richie Ramsay and David Law, for example, can both feel quietly confident about what lies ahead for them on the DP World Tour while Laura Beveridge will be excited about building on her best season so far on the Ladies European Tour - but here are the players I believe are set for big years in 2023.
On the back of her stunning breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour in Japan, the 29-year-old has teed up a mouth-watering schedule this year. It starts next week when she tees up in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Florida and, for the first time in her career, Dryburgh will also be playing in all five of the women’s majors. Having climbed to 67th in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, the Aberdonian is also now in the mix for the Solheim Cup, which takes place at Finca Cortesin in Spain in September.
Twelve months after starting out in his rookie campaign on the DP World Tour and only really being recognised in his home country, the 26-year-old has set up an exciting 2023 campaign after winning twice last year – and it was almost a title hat-trick. He’s playing in this week’s Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi, which could be a springboard for a Ryder Cup appearance in Rome in September, while a first crack at a major has been secured in the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool in the summer on the back of finishing 17th in last season’s Race to Dubai Rankings.
The 22-year-old’s first full season in the professional ranks will be in the shape of an exciting campaign on the Ladies European Tour after securing her card in style with a last-hole birdie in the Qualifying School Final in Spain in December. She’d recovered from a nightmare start in a pre-qualifier to set up that opportunity and Duncan, who’d already underlined her talent through two strong performances in the AIG Women’s Open - one as an amateur and the other in just her second start as a pro - will be heading into this year feeling as though she is riding on the crest of a wave.
The 26-year-old is also playing in the Hero Cup and has made no secret that his main goal in 2023 is the Ryder Cup, having won the DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club, the venue for the latest edition of the biennial event, last September. MacIntyre will also be determined to be teeing up in The Masters for the third year in a row and the current world No 72 needs to climb into the top 50 in early April to achieve that goal.
The 19-year-old sits a lofty seventh in the World Amateur Golf Ranking after hitting the ground running in her freshman year at the University of South Carolina. Darling also finished fourth, just one shot behind the winner, world No 1 Rose Zhang, in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in France last year and, on the strength of that world ranking, her 2023 campaign is set to include a second appearance in the Augusta Women’s National Amateur in April.
The 24-year-old had to wait patiently before finally getting his opportunity to turn professional and it’s been an encouraging start for him on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Scott finished fifth in just his second outing on the circuit in the Argentina Classic last month before also ending up in the top 20 in the Chile Open straight afterwards. He’s also hoping to secure some starts on this side of the Atlantic in 2023.
The 21-year-old University of Stirling student landed the Irish Women’s Open Stroke-Play Championship in May before showing her class again when carding a sensational 13-under-par 60 at Montrose Links en route to victory in the Stirling International. She’s used the R&A Student Tour Series to great effect and will be aiming to shine on that once again in early-season events in both Portugal and Spain.
After watching David Law, Ewen Ferguson, Bob MacIntyre, Grant Forrest and Calum Hill all land breakthrough wins on the DP World Tour over the past few seasons, there’s a strong chance that the 27-year-old will be the next Scot to make that step. He’s been knocking on the door and will be eager to get going again in 2023 after a strong finish to last season in the DP World Tour Championship.
The Troon teenager enjoyed a brilliant 2022 campaign, winning the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Masters, Barrie Douglas Scottish Junior Masters, Stephen Gallacher Foundation Vase and the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Fairmont St Andrews Open. With her confidence brimming, she’ll now be aiming to go from strength to strength this year and can hopefully get in the mix for the Junior Ryder Cup in September.
Helped by winning the R&A Junior Open at Monifieth Links last year, the Blairgowrie 16-year-old is the youngest of 19 players named in the Great Britain & Ireland squad in preparation for the Walker Cup at St Andrews at the beginning of September. Calum Scott, Sandy’s younger brother, is the other Scot currently in the frame to face the Americans on the Old Course and, like him, Graham is an exciting young talent.