New facility raises hopes for club that wants players at the top level
PITLOCHRY GOLF CLUB has unveiled its brand new Golf Academy with some club officials believing it could help them produce a Ryder Cup star of the future.
The late John Panton was the club’s last Ryder Cup player and his brother, Neil, was in attendance as the facility was opened with the hope that future generations will benefit greatly.
Asked if he feels the academy can help Pitlochry produce another major player like his brother, 94-year-old Panton said: “I would certainly think it’s possible. The opportunity is definitely there with this new facility. I joined as a member in 1932 and we never had anything like this when we were young. You worked with what you had and you did your best in those days. In fact, I just wish we had this development 50 years ago.”
Built with the assistance of Perth and Kinross Council, sportscotland and landlord Charles Butter, the new academy boasts a driving range with six indoor and five outdoor bays. There are also teaching bays with the latest technology installed for use by the club’s PGA professionals Mark Pirie and Graeme Leggat.
The new par-3, six-hole, Lettoch Links is still open and will allow golfers, including visiting non-members and first time players, to practice their short game or swing a club in a fun beginners environment.
The club has already started to see the benefits of the new facility, too, with Pitlochry securing both the boys and men’s county championship titles.
“It’s testament to the vision we had for this academy,” said director Stephen Carruthers. “The facility is unrivalled for a club of our size in Scotland and, I believe, with the exception of Gleneagles itself, it is the best in Perthshire.
“It caters for those looking for their first taste of the game, right up to tour pro level. You don’t need to be a member to play. It’s family friendly, open to all and it’s a very relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere here.”
Jackie Davidson, ClubGolf Scotland manager, added: “We’re delighted to see this facility opening and hopefully it encourages more young players to continue their golf development. It is an excellent facility in the area and we would encourage all golfers to make use of it.”