You only have to look around the grounds at Emirates Golf Club this week to see proof, as past winners are celebrated on the flags and posters across the Majlis course.

In the 35-year-long history of the Dubai Desert Classic, one record has stood the test of time — Stephen Gallacher’s stunning back-to-back triumphs in 2013 and 2014.

Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have won the title multiple times, but Scotsman Gallacher is the only man to have successfully defended his crown.

Now Gallacher is once again back in Dubai as he looks to make a little more history and join Els with a hat-trick of titles in the DP World Tour Rolex Series event (and beat a certain world No. 1 McIlroy to the punch).

Ever the realist, however, at 48 Gallacher knows he is nearing the end of his playing days at the top of the game and is now ready to help pay it forward as Team Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup captain ahead of the clash with the United States in Rome this September.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Junior Dubai Desert Classic, where he kept a close eye on some potential stars of the future, Gallacher looked back on some sensational moments on the famous Majlis Course.

“I’ve got some great memories and I’ve had some of the best times on a golf course of my life out here,” Gallacher said. “I’ve managed two holes-in-one, won it twice and shot a 10-under 62,” he said. “Magical things just seem to happen for me here in the UAE. When I come back here to a place that I love it always brings out great memories. You feel a couple of inches taller just walking out onto the tee.”

With that extra confidence boost that he gets here at Emirates Golf Club, Gallacher is not quite ready to hang up his clubs just yet.

“I wouldn’t be here if I thought I couldn’t win,” he said. “It is getting a bit more difficult at my age but hopefully I can produce something like my best over the week,” he said. “But then again there is only so much you can do to prepare yourself well and hope it all happens. And if it doesn’t there isn’t much you can do.

“There are 130 guys playing this week and anybody can win. You look at the Rorys and Shane Lowrys and the guys that are playing really well. The talent is unbelievable. It’s a really, really strong field.

“But there are a lot of elements involved as well. Conditions change during the day and you have to adapt and innovate.”

Innovation is something golf has seen in recent times, with each generation seemingly bigger, stronger and driving longer than the last. Gallacher attributes this to the key figures who changed the face of golf forever.

“Tiger Woods without a doubt, and Rory McIlroy,” he said. “We’ve got some great figureheads and great ambassadors of the game that people look up to. You only have to look now at how young and fit the kids are.

“That is all because of the athleticism Tiger brought to the game which led to kids becoming pros at a much younger age thanks to the evolution of golfing technology.

“When I was a kid I used my father’s old cut-down clubs, while now there are clubs for every age every level as you grow up. Golf has definitely gotten more professional and has changed a lot.

“But you still need to do the 10,000 hours thing. It’s hard work. You don’t get good at it by not working hard and practising. You’ve got to want it more than the guy that’s next to you that’s working equally as hard. So it’s between the ears, then its fitness, then it’s your technique and then repetition over and over.”

As Junior Ryder Cup skipper, Gallacher has one thing top of the agenda for his team, when they finally assemble at Marcom Simone Golf Club, just days before the senior teams do battle on the same course — have fun.

“We are here at the Junior Dubai Desert Classic to try to get the participation levels up and increase awareness about the fun you can have on a golf course; to showcase the facilities and hopefully unearth a new Tiger Woods or Nelly Korda along the way.

“It is the same when I take my guys to Rome — the singles are played on exactly the same set-up as the main guys on the Thursday just before. I mean, what an opportunity that is to experience something amazing first-hand. The stands are up and the tournament conditions will create such a buzz, and just like here ahead of the Desert Classic, you just want them to get out there and have fun.”