The recently-unveiled national championship calendar shows that Scottish golf is to visit some of the finest clubs in the country during the coming season
SCOTLAND’S amateur golfers are being offered a feast of top quality venues at all levels of the game across the SGU’s national championship calendar for the 2013 season.
One of the country’s finest inland courses provides the headline stage, with Blairgowrie’s Lansdowne Course hosting the Scottish Amateur Championship, while Murcar Links in the North East is home to the European Boys Team Championship as Scotland’s leading juniors prepare to do battle with the cream of the continent in early July.
In total, the Scottish Golf Union will run 15 national championships this year, with scratch events being staged for all age groups, while the Scottish Club Handicap Championship provides the opportunity for members of Scottish golf clubs to participate on the national stage.
Last season, 36 venues were used over 72 days, with a similar number of courses being required to host a variety of events in a busy six months for the new look SGU events department.
“We are greatly indebted to the clubs and courses, which kindly host all our tournaments throughout the year,” said Daniel Sommerville, the Events Manger at the SGU, who is supported by Hazel Brown and new recruits, Conor Finlay and Gavin Dunn.
“The clubs do a fantastic job in assisting our Events team and we thank them hugely for giving us the courtesy of their courses.
“The same applies to the army of regional and national volunteers who assist us.
Together with the support of our clubs, we simply could not run the sport without their endeavours.”
Ahead of the new season getting properly underway, we caught up with four of our host clubs for 2013 looking forward to staging a national championship on their fairways in the coming months and underlying why clubs take great pride in welcoming the nation’s best golfers onto their courses.
Course: Monifieth Golf Links
SGU Event: 1-6 April, Scottish Boys Championship
Club website: www.monifiethgolfclub.co.uk
Bill Miller, Chairman of Monifieth Golf Links - “We’re delighted to be hosting this very prestigious tournament, having last hosted a national championship in 2005. That year, we staged the Scottish Boys Stroke Play Championship when Steven McEwan of Kilmarnock (Barassie) won. We also co-hosted the Men’s Stroke Play in 1997. I hope this is a precursor to Monifieth going on the Scottish Boys’ rota regularly – we certainly hope it’s the first of many. We have a good test of golf, currently in very good condition despite the wet weather, and our members are looking forward to welcoming the nation’s best young golfers.”
Course: Newburgh on Ythan
Area: North East
SGU Event: 1 May, Belhaven Best Captains & Secretaries Championship, Regional Qualifier 1
Club website: www.newburghgolfclub.co.uk
Ian Bratton, Head Professional at Newburgh on Ythan - “It’s great to be holding an SGU event this year, it certainly helps raise the club’s profile. We hosted the North East District Championship on the SGU Men’s Order of Merit in 2008, won by James Byrne, and we also staged the Paul Lawrie Matchplay Championship for five years until 2009. The course was extended to 18 holes in 1995, and is a challenging links course that demands accurate golf from tee to green. With the new Trump course nearby, we’ve been seeing more visitors come here which is great.”
Course: Fortrose & Rosemarkie
SGU Event: 11-12 August, Loretto School Scottish Boys & Girls Under-14s Championship
Club website: www.fortrosegolfclub.co.uk
Mike MacDonald, Club Secretary at Fortrose & Rosemarkie -
“Following on from the recent success of hosting national events for both the SGU and SLGA in 2010, Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club are delighted that we have once again been provided with the opportunity to showcase our fantastic James Braid-designed Scottish links golf course to the players, their families and anyone watching the event in August.
"This year will see our unique links course celebrating its 125th anniversary and I’m sure that all those involved in the event will thoroughly enjoy the experience.”
Course: Luffness New
SGU Event: 29 September, TSG Scottish Club Championship
Club website: www.luffnessgolf.com
Tony Yeates, Secretary at Luffness New -
“We hosted the Scottish Seniors Stroke Play Championship last year and we’re really looking forward to staging another
national event. We are very proud of our traditional links course, previously an Open Championship qualifying venue, and it’s been said consistently that out greens are among the best in Scotland. The course has been extended by just over 200 yards to 6,500, it’s a stiff test and we like to have it played by the best. Our head greenkeeper, a local lad, David Coull, deserves kudos as he has done a great job over the last six years. Old Tom Morris designed the course, with many of the old tees now restored. The course
is in tip-top condition and we hope that encourages people to come along to our friendly and welcoming club.”