A former Loretto golf academy pupil is living the American dream after securing a scholarship in Arizona.

Luke Greig, of Prestonpans, took the plunge to follow his golfing aspirations after accepting a place at South Mountain Junior College in Phoenix last August – and he is already seeing the fruits of his labour.

The 18-year-old Royal Musselburgh Golf Club member was a late bloomer to the sport but, just a few years after picking up a club, he has gone from strength to strength, and is nowchasing the ultimate goal of professional golf.

Speaking to Courier Sport while home in Scotland for the holidays, Greig, who plays off a handicap of 1, told how this exciting opportunity arose.

He said: “I started playing when I was 14. I originally wanted to be a professional footballer but that didn’t go to plan, so I started playing golf back in the west of Scotland for a couple years and, after a couple of years there, I moved to come to Loretto School.

“After a couple of years at Loretto, the director of golf sent my portfolio out to all the colleges in America and South Mountain was one of them.”

The change in scene was not the easiest at first and Greig called the high temperatures “ridiculous”, initially only lasting “20 minutes outside” before having to seek the coolness of the indoors.

This was coupled with a very different style of golf that he was used to back home.

He added: “At first I was playing the way I normally did here and it just didn’t work so I had to adapt!”

Greig is studying criminal justice at the college, which he has to balance with his golf ambitions, which he says can be tough.

He said: “I’ve never been great on the academic side, so my plan when I went there was to try harder, which I have done.

“I’m studying criminal justice because if golf doesn’t go well, I’d like to be a detective or something like that. It’s 70 per cent academic and 30 per cent golf.”

But in only one semester, Greig has already seen improvements in his game and hopes that it holds him in good stead for the ultimate goal of becoming a pro golfer.

He said: “I think I’m a lot more adaptable and versatile with the shots in my locker.

“But the only way I can see if I have improved will be when I come back here in summer and I’ll see how my golf is when I come back here.”

Greig now has his eyes on regional and national US tournaments that will be taking place in the upcoming semester, where he hopes he can show how far his golf has come in his freshman year.

He said: “There are two tournaments I’m really interested in, which is the regionals and nationals, they’re like the majors if you like.

“If you win nationals, you get a ring like you get in the NFL; that would be nice, I’d quite like one of them.

“A lot of people that are in my position have started playing since they were three or four.

“I’m pretty much the same level as these guys in a lot less time than they have been playing golf, so that’s where you need to bring the confidence from.

“The goal is – and anyone can say it and it sounds mental – but to be the best golfer in the world.

“If you don’t have a goal that other people say, ‘nah, that’s stupid’ then your goal isn’t crazy enough, in my opinion.

“What’s the point of saying: ‘I just want to make it on tour’? Dreaming is free, why would you not go mental with it?”

Speaking of his son’s journey, dad Colin Greig stressed how proud the whole family were of him for making it there and overcoming the challenges that came with such a change in lifestyle.

He said: “He first decided on it when he was 16 and he thought: ‘Right, we have a good opportunity here.’

“He only started when he was 14, and he has really come on leaps and bounds from there.

“It looked as though initially he was going to get an offer from New Mexico but, around about the Covid times and shutdowns, that fell through and he got this offer in May.

“He’s enjoying it really well, it’s a huge difference in lifestyle, settling in, living in a foreign country, meeting new friends, and it’s been a huge challenge. He’s looking forward to getting back out there.

“Myself and his mother are extremely proud of him, we all are, and he has an older brother who keeps him right on the mental side of the game.”

Greig returns to America today (Thursday) to continue his thriving golf career.