English legend’s son to represent the country of his birth as he makes his way in pro ranks
SEAN JACKLIN is determined to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Tony, by winning majors. But, unlike his English icon father, he intends to carve a career for himself under the flag of Scotland.
Jacklin Jnr made his European Tour debut at the Joburg Open earlier this season, where it wasn’t just his impressive play but the flag next to his name that caught the eye. However, as he pointed out, there is a perfectly straightforward explanation for that.
“I was born in Edinburgh and playing for Scotland just makes more sense to me than doing anything else,” he told a recent edition of English Club Golfer’s sister title, bunkered. “It’s been my plan to do that for a while.
“Besides, I was named after Sir Sean Connery. I really don’t know if you can get much more Scottish than that!”
Having lived for most of his life in the USA, Sean also has American citizenship but he added that there was never any chance of him representing his adopted homeland as he makes his way in the pro game, noting a lack of ‘any kind of deep-rooted affiliation’ to the States - but that’s only part of the reason.
“I want to compete for Europe in the Ryder Cup eventually,” he said. “That’s one of my big goals and, with my dad’s history in the match, I don’t really think I could get away with playing against Europe. I don’t think that would go down particularly well!
“So, as far as all parties are concerned, playing under the Scottish flag is the way forward and that’s something I’ll continue to do.”
Born in 1993, Sean is much too young to remember his dad at the height of his powers. However, he added that being able to travel with his father when he was playing on the Champions Tour - the main circuit for professional golfers aged 50-plus - allowed him an insight into life on tour, whilst also giving him the opportunity to pick the brains of some of golf’s most famous players.
“I got to meet the likes of Mr Nicklaus, Mr Player and Mr Palmer, all of the greats of the game, basically,” he explained. “You get to hear their stories and ask them questions. Just getting that kind of insight has been invaluable and something that not a lot of other young pros can say they’ve had.”
Jacklin Jnr also revealed that he has no intention of hiring a swing coach, preferring instead to continue picking the brains of his dad when he feels he needs advice.
“If there’s ever anything in my game that doesn’t feel right, we’ll just go out onto the range and it figure it out together,” he added. “He once told me, once you’ve made a commitment to yourself of wanting to be the best player in the world, it shouldn’t be a surprise when you do it. He says that because that’s what you’ve set out to do, it should be normal to do it. That’s totally true and I guess it ultimately now comes down to having self-belief and that’s something I feel I definitely need to work on. I know I can hit the shots. Now I just need to become more confident in myself.”
He added: “I know that there’s going to be a little more pressure on me because of who my father is and everything that he has achieved in the game but, if you can’t deal with that, then you’re not going to be able to deal with coming down the stretch in major championships and playing on Ryder Cup teams and so on.
“To me, he’ll always be dad first and an extremely successful golfer second.”