Monday, April 26, 2010

Much to take heart from Troon for Lothians trio

Lothians trio Jane Turner, Rachael Watton and Gabrielle MacDonald all came away from the Helen Holm Scottish Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship at Troon with a spring in their golf shoes.
While Northern Ireland's Danielle McVeigh lifted the title with a 54-hole aggregate of 215, Turner, Watton and MacDonald all achieved their individual targets. Maintaining the form that had earned a second success British Universities' title triumph in the build-up to the event, Turner shot rounds of 74, 72 and 74 to earn a share of ninth spot.
"My aim was to shoot three rounds under par and I'm happy to have done that," said the Craigielaw player. In the final round over Royal Troon, Turner was two-under after four, thanks to birdies at the second and fourth before hitting a "dreadful run" around the turn. She dropped shots at the sixth and seventh before running up a double-bogey – "it came out of nothing after I had driven into a bunker" – at the ninth.
But, coming back, she followed a birdie at the 14th with a superb eagle-3 at the next, where an 8-iron to six feet set up the opportunity.
Watton's closing 72, which earned her a share of 11th, was the second best round on the Open Championship course. It was a 12-stroke improvement on her closing round in the same event last year and underlined why the 17-year-old Mortonhall player is rated so highly by her coach, Spencer Henderson.
Out in two-over, Watton bagged five birdies coming home, the pick of them coming at the 17th, where she holed from 15 feet.
Playing in the event for the first time, fellow 17-year-old MacDonald closed with an equally fine 75 to finish on 230. For the third round running, she signed off with a bogey but the Trinity Academy pupil, who won the Scottish Junior Masters last year, was rightly proud of her effort alongside the top amateurs in Britain and Ireland.
"I've been doing quite a bit of work in the gym and also feel I've added a bit of distance thanks to the work I'm doing with my coach, Kevin Craggs," said MacDonald

At nearby Glasgow Gailes, her clubmate, Mark Hillson, led the Lothians challenge in the Edward Trophy, a Scottish Order of Merit event. The former Lothians champion shot rounds of 69, 75, 67 and 76 to finish fifth behind Peterhead's Philip McLean, with Grant Forrest (287), Allyn Dick (293), Sean McGarvey (298) and Zander Culverwell (299) the other Lothians players to make the cut.•

Catriona Matthew and her Scotland team-mate Krystle Caithness closed with a 70 to secure seventh spot in the European Nations Cup in Spain, where they finished ahead of Wales, England and Ireland.
Sweden lifted the title for the first time after beating Australia in a play-off.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

East Kilbride clubhouse burned down in evening blaze

East Kilbride Golf Club clubhouse was destroyed by fire last night.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said they had been called around 6pm on Tuesday night to deal with a blaze at East Kilbride Golf Club, located in the town’s Chapelside Road. There are no reports of casualties.
A spokesperson from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue stated: "The initial appliances and crews attending were faced with an established and rapidly developing fire within the clubhouse premises. Due to the severity of the fire and very limited water supplies, an early call for further assistance and appliances was made."
At least eight fire appliances were in attendance in the blaze. The fire service added that their efforts to deal with the blaze were "severely hampered by poor water supplies, strong winds and rapid hidden fire spread through roof voids".
An investigation has now been launched to determine the cause of the blaze.
Firefighters are expected to be in attendance for some time, the spokesperson concluded.
The club, founded in 1900, has moved three times, and is currently at the edge of the Lanarkshire town. The current 6,402 yard, 18-hole course celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007


Thursday, December 31, 2009


From January 1, no relief allowed from divot hole or repaired divot hole

As usual, half way through the four-year life of an edition of The Rules of Golf, the R&A has published a new Decisions Book. This contains some 30 new decisions and amended versions of further 49 revised decisions which come into effect on January 1, 2010.
Many of these merit detailed consideration only by serious students of the rules, budding referees and quiz masters and require a thorough knowledge to understand their complexity. However, there is one change that will require immediate action by many club committees and the awareness of all golfers.
New decision 33-8/34 now removes the authority for a committee to make a local rule “providing relief without penalty from a divot hole or a repaired divot hole (i.e. filled with sand or seed mix).”
At least half the golf clubs in Scotland have such a local rule and these must be withdrawn immediately before any qualifying competitions for handicap purposes can be played.
Such a local rule contravenes Rule 13-1 which states that a ball must be played as it lies and has generally not been used in professional and major amateur competitions.
It is often mistakenly believed that this rule protects the golf course. If relief is given or indeed demanded from a seeded divot hole, a second divot hole is created and requires repair, leaving two seeded divots holes.
If the ball is played from the original hole it may require repair but only one hole remains.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Catriona Matthew deserving winner of

top sportscotland Sports Award

I don't know who they were, but the judges for the sportscotland Scottish Sports Awards deserve a huge pat on the back for recognising golf in a way that doesn't happen very often when it comes to these sort of things.
Catriona Matthew won the top award, David Law scooped the prize for amateur performance of the year, the Open got the vote for best sporting event in 2009 and Colin Montgomerie was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
In an era when you sometimes feel as though football is the only sport people care about, this was all very refreshing and I only wish the results had been known before a conversation I had in the middle of last week.
There I was singing Matthew's praises in the wake of her magnificent win in the Women's British Open earlier this year, yet was struggling to convince a fellow golf journalist that her achievements in 2010 were greater than those of Andy Murray.
Don't get me wrong. I believe Murray has done a splendid job for Scottish sport over the last few years and exciting times lie ahead, there's no doubting that. It really does bug me, though, that Murray merits having a BBC Scotland journalist following him all around the world yet our golfers are often overlooked when they do something of note.
For once, golf got the plaudits it richly deserved and, in the case of Catriona Matthew, her award simply couldn't have gone to a more deserving recipient.
+Editor's note: My vote goes to Martin Dempster as Scotland's golf writer of the year!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tiger Woods apologises for 'transgressions'

Tiger Woods has apologised to his family for recent "transgressions", in a statement that alluded to "personal sins" and the forced exposure of "intimate details" of his life.
He apologised today in a statement that alluded to "personal sins" and the forced exposure of "intimate details" of his life.
The 33-year-old billionaire was cited yesterday for careless driving and told he must pay a fine of $164 dollars (£98.57) in relation to an accident on Friday outside his home in Florida.
Related links:
Tiger Woods' voicemail: 'My wife may be calling you'
Tiger Woods: five celebrity text scandals
Ogilvy: Woods should return quickly
Padraig Harrington defends Tiger Woods decision
Woods' image still worth millions
Rachel Uchitel says Tiger Woods affair rumours 'ridiculous'
Since the incident, speculation has mounted over the golfer's personal life, with tabloid allegations that he had an affair with a New York nightclub hostess.
Recent tabloid rumours have linked the world's No 1 golfer with three women, Rachel Uchitel, who denies claims of an affair, Jaimee Grubbs and Kalika Moquin.
Grubbs, a waitress who claims she had an affair with Tiger Woods, has alleged that the golfer sent her a message warning: “My wife has been through my phone and may be calling you."
In a statement posted on his website he said:
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behaviour my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.
"Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realise the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives.
"The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.
"But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realise there are some who don't share my view on that.
"But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.
"Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.
"I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tiger Woods makes first statement about car crash.

Switch over to to read it.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Tiger Woods released from hospital after car crash outside home

Earlier reports that Tiger Woods was "seriously injured" in an early morning (Florida local) car crash outside his home were apparently exaggerated. The "Orlando Sentinel" newspaper reports that he suffered facial lacerations but had been released from hospital.
Switch over to to reach more on the story.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Greg Norman and Chris Evert separate

after 0nly 15 months of marriage

Greg Norman and Chris Evert have announced they have separated 15 months after getting married. The pair, greats in their respective fields of golf and tennis, did not indicate whether they plan to divorce.
The couple said in a statement: "We will remain friends and supportive of one another's family." Neither Norman nor Evert has made any comment beyond that statement.
The announcement comes three days before Norman is to captain the International team, featuring players from every continent apart from Europe, against the United States for the Presidents Cup in San Francisco, where wives of the captains take on a visible role. Its timing was in part to prevent speculation on Evert's absence during the tournament.
"I don't think it will be a distraction," said Robert Allenby of Australia, part of the International team. "That's just not the way Norman is. He's normally very private with his life. I know Norman. Next week his whole focus will be purely on what we have to do as a team and how we have to come together. He'll be right behind us 110 percent."
Norman and Evert married in the Bahamas last June, and a month later, Norman was nine holes away from becoming golf's oldest major champion at 53 when he led the British Open, before eventually finishing third at Royal Birkdale, Evert following him every step of the way.
At the time the golfer was emerging from a divorce from Laura Andrassy, with whom he had two children. That ended in a settlement which saw her receive just over $100m. Evert was married twice previously, most recently to the Olympic downhill skier Andy Mill, with whom she had three children. They divorced in December 2006.
The pair became the most high-profile couple in sport, give or take Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, when they started dating, got engaged and married. Evert, with 18 grand slam titles, attended her first PGA Tour event last year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, in which Norman played with his son Gregory.
Norman had spoken previously of how his relationship with Evert had energised him. "It just revitalised my life," he said. "When you're more relaxed and you're happier, then everything else kind of comes a little bit easier. I would say it's a rub-off effect on the golf, no question, but my life in general is much more in balance than it has ever been."


Monday, September 28, 2009

Scots win Special Olympics' Topaz

Triple Crown Golf Trophy

Scotland won the third Special Olympics' Topaz Triple Crown Golf Trophy at Hollystown Golf Club, Ireland.
Ireland, winners of the past two events, played this year as five individual teams from each of the Special Olympics Regions. The event was played over 9 holes on two consecutive days.
Scotland’s match winner was a fine level par round of 35 by Graeme Andrews on the first day, ten shots better than his nearest rival, which put Scotland into an unassailable lead going into the second day.
Best of the Irish were Munster’s Alan Punch and Trudy Hyland while Connacht’s Barbara Callagy, Connacht and Leinster’s Kevin Codd punched well above their weight.
Competitors hailed from Scotland, England and each of the five Special Olympics Regions of Ireland.
Further details available from:
Ruth O’Mahony, PRO Special Olympics Golf


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Female caddy service banned from golf courses

A female caddy service which provides models trained in golf etiquette has been banned from a number of courses for "damaging the reputation of the sport".
The women, who wear tight-fitting pink uniforms, are provided by Eye Candy Caddies, which describes its service as the “gorgeous new solution for unforgettable golf days.”
However, Leaderboard, a golfing firm, has imposed a ban on them at four courses, Chart Hills in Biddenden, Kent; Dale Hill in Wadhurst, East Sussex; Sandford Springs in Kingsclere, Hants; and The Oxfordshire Golf Club in Oxford.
A spokesman for Leaderboard said: "Anyone who seriously cares about the development of the game should work to ensure that it is as professional, inclusive, and culturally inoffensive as any other major sport.
"Exploiting outmoded notions of golf as a male bastion is not 'just a bit of fun', it damages the reputation of the sport as a whole as well as its appeal to members of the younger generation of either sex."
The Eye Candy website suggests the service is primarily for the corporate market. Caddies can be hired out at £230 for a day’s golf. The agency promotes its service by claiming that with “an Eye Candy caddie by your side, other golfers will be green with envy.”
It adds that its “team of girls in attractive uniforms are much more than just a pretty face.”
Katy Glyn, one of the models, describes herself as having “bombshell” looks, and says her favorite food is chocolate and almonds.
Another, Abbie Burrows, 27, a professional flautist, who has played private concerts for the Queen and the Prince of Wales, and also appeared on the BBC1 programme Songs of Praise, said: "Put simply it is corporate hospitality, much the same as I have done at Wembley, Ascot, and Twickenham. We act as hostesses, serve drinks, smile and chat to guests.”
She added: "We have learnt the rules of golf and that we shouldn't speak as a player takes a shot, or not to stand in the line of a putt.
"A lot of the time we go in the buggy with the player, but we don’t carry the bags around. We offer up the clubs when they are needed, just like any normal caddy would."
The company's managing director, Sarah Stacey, said: "We add that extra sparkle and difference to any golf day and put a smile on people's faces.
"All the girls are trained in the etiquette of golf and uniformed in appropriate golf attire. They all sign a code of conduct so everyone is clear about the boundaries."
The code of conduct says models are “not encouraged” to fraternize with clients at the end of an assignment.
It adds: “If a client asks a model to engage in social activities after an assignment has ended, it is the model’s responsibility to refuse the offer or if accepting to make it clear that he or she is doing so on a personal basis.”


Annika Sorenstam has baby girl - Ava Madelyn

Annika Sorenstam has given birth to her first child.
Ava Madelyn McGee was born Tuesday morning. She weighs 6lb 10oz and is 19 inches long.
Annika said both her and her daughter were doing well and that she was "very excited" about the new addition to the family.
Sorenstam retired from the LPGA Tour last year at the age of 38 after 72 victories and 10 major titles, saying she wanted to start a business and a family.
She married Mike McGee, son of a former US Tour player, Jerry McGee, in January near the couple's home in Florida.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Carly's brother Paul wins four gold

medals at Special Olympics

Curtis Cup teenager Carly Booth's 19-year-old brother Paul turned up at Balgownie today to support his 17-year-old sister in her bid for the British women's open amateur championship.
And Paul certainly knows what it takes to produce a medal-winning performance - he won not one but FOUR gold medals in the Special Olympics at Leicester a few days ago.
"I don't think anyone has won all four gold medals available in the power-lifting," said father Wally, who was an Empire (Commonwealth) Games wrestling silver medal-winner in his younger days.
"So he won the overall junior champion award. I'm a power-lifting trainer so I've been able to make the most of Paul's strength and potential."


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gary Player takes

a swing at

Muirfield’s men-only policy: 'I don't see the point'

Golf legend Gary Player has hit out at one of Scotland's most famous courses for having a men-only policy.
Player, who at 23 became the youngest Open Championship winner when he lifted the Claret Jug at Muirfield in 1959, has criticised the club ahead of his return to the East Lothian course to host a charity tournament.
The South African said: "I don't see the point of excluding any member of society." The 73-year-old revealed his disapproval of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers' single-sex policy.
He said: "One thing travel has taught me is to have respect for other people's point of view but I have to tell you, I do not agree with the policy. Golf would not be the game it is without women.
"Winston Churchill said that change is the price of survival. I agree with that. I just don't see the point of excluding any member of society.
"That policy is their business. It's a decision they've made and they've got to live with it. I have designed many golf courses all over the world and I wouldn't like to think any of them would exclude women."
Muirfield is set to host the Open for the 16th time in 2013 and the event could draw more attention to the club's single-sex rule.
Club secretary Alastair Brown said: "I'm interested in Gary's comments. His views haven't stopped him from returning to the club."
First Minister Alex Salmond, a keen golfer, has urged Muirfield and other clubs to change their ways.
Of the possibility of the women's British Open taking place at Muirfield, he said: "It might encourage them to change their views

+Reproduced by kind permission of the Sports Editor of the Herald Newspaper.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Action from the Tg54 winter training camp in Spain.

An ace training camp for the two Karyns

... and everybody else as well, of course!

Tg54 have just completed their third successful winter training camp in Spain.
The camp was an opportunity for some of Scotland’s most talented golfers to get together for some warm weather training in a relaxed atmosphere at a time when such training is not possible in Scotland.
Five of the seven players currently on level one of the Tg54 programme:

Jenna Wilson LET Professional
Pamela Feggans LET Professional
William Bremner (+2 handicap)
Ross Dallas (14) 9 handicap
Karyn Burns (PGA Professional)

were joined by former British ladies stroke-play champion Heather McRae who is currently studying to be a PGA professional.
The two other players on level one - Roseanne Niven (current British Strokeplay Champion) and Andrew Weir - are currently at college in the states.
The week went well and was notable for two holes in one. Tg54 coach Karyn Dallas was first followed two days later by Karyn Burns. However Jenna Wilson and William Bremner also holed out from the tee but their shots were discounted as they were played on shortened holes designed to hone skills from inside 100 yards.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Tiger and Elin name their second child Charlie Axel

Tiger Woods and his wife Elin have confirmed the news of the birth of their second child, a boy named Charlie Axel.
The boy was born on Sunday and is a brother for 19-month-old Sam Alexis.
"Both Charlie and Elin are doing great and we want to thank everyone for their sincere best wishes and kind thoughts," said a "thrilled" Woods on his website.
"Sam is very excited to be a big sister and we feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. I also want to thank our doctors, nurses and the hospital staff for their personal and professional care."
He added: "We look forward to introducing Charlie to you at the appropriate time."
The next big news awaited from Woods, of course, is when he will return to golf. He has been out of action since undergoing reconstructive knee surgery following his amazing 14th major victory at the US Open last June.
He has been practising for several weeks now and said last week it was going "full bore".
The Accenture World Match Play in Tucson is in three weeks and Woods is the defending champion, but with the possibility of having to play two rounds a day he may decide to wait until the US Tour comes to Florida, the state where he lives, next month.
"I have no restrictions - it's just a matter of getting my golf endurance up. I don't have my golf stamina back yet," he said on his website.
"I am excited about returning to competition. Early on I didn't miss golf because I enjoyed staying home with Elin and Sam and I knew I wasn't physically able to play.
"The truth is, I would have embarrassed myself. Now I'm getting my feel and practice back. It's just a matter of playing more on the course. I'm working hard to get myself back into tournament shape and will return as soon as I'm ready."


Report: Tiger and Elin Woods welcome

their second child, a son

By Michael Walker Jr
Senior Editor, GOLF Magazine
Tiger Woods's wife, Elin, gave birth to a boy, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune website. It is the second child for the couple; their daughter Sam was born in 2007.
Woods normally releases information through his website, but as of early Monday morning there had yet to be an announcement. The San Diego Union-Tribune said a "source with ties to the Woods family" told them the No. 1 golfer in the world and his wife had their second child.
Woods, 33, has found himself in the role of stay-at-home dad since June 2008, when he underwent reconstructive knee surgery after his dramatic U.S. Open win at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. He's said he enjoyed spending the extra time with his daughter and that his knee injury has been a "blessing" in many ways.
"While my injury has been disappointing and frustrating, it has allowed me to spend a lot of time watching Sam grow," Woods said on his website. "I can't begin to tell you how rewarding it is being a dad and spending time with her and Elin."
Last week Woods said in a newsletter that he was preparing for his return to the PGA Tour, but everything was on hold until the new baby arrived.
"As for my comeback to the PGA Tour, a lot depends on the baby, which is due pretty soon. That takes precedent over anything I do golf-wise," Woods said. "Elin, Sam and I are very excited for the new baby to arrive, although that's when the real lack of sleep begins."
However, the new baby shouldn't expect to see too much of his dad. Woods's recovery from surgery has gone according to schedule, and he said he expects to play in this year's Masters tournament in April, if not sooner. Any Tour players hoping that diaper duty will affect Woods's play should keep in mind that Sam was born the Monday after the U.S. Open at Oakmont; two months later Woods won the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Annika and Mike McGee wedding

at Orlando, Florida yesterday

Annika Sorenstam and her boyfriend of three years, Mike McGee, were married on Saturday near their home in Orlando, Florida.
The 125 guests attended an afternoon ceremony and evening reception at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. Travis Wilhelm, minister at Christian Campus House at Trine University in Angola, Indiana, officiated at the ceremony.
Sorenstam’s maid of honour was her best friend from Stockholm, Maria Bertilskold. McGee’s best man was Stan McCamon from East Palestine, Ohio.
McGee, the son of former US PGA Tour and Champions Tour player Jerry McGee, has served as Managing Director for the ANNIKA brand of businesses since December 2006, when he relocated to Orlando.
The couple will be busy over the next two weeks, prior to their honeymoon ski trip. Sorenstam will be hosting the first major initiative of her foundation, the ANNIKA Invitational, an American Junior Golf Association event featuring 60 of the top female juniors from around the world.
The event will be held at her academy at the Ginn Reunion Resort next weekend. Sorenstam will then appear at the US PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando and will be honoured at the ANNIKA Celebration Feb. 1-3 at Ginn Reunion Resort.
The ANNIKA Celebration will feature a skins game between Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis.
Annika may have retired ... but she is not putting her feet up, quite yet!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some thought-provoking Christmas Wishes

from Alistair Tait of

Editor's note: Alistair Tait, a good friend of mine, has been making public his Christmas Golfing Wishes on I've hand-picked the three most thought-provoking for readers of

7. Acceptance – for women and juniors.
I’ve covered this topic before, but I still can’t believe women and children aren’t accepted at some of the top clubs around the world. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Muirfield and Royal Troon, arguably the three most powerful clubs in the UK, still refuse to let women join and have no junior sections.
You’d think we were still living in the 19th century and not about to enter 2009.

8. Stopwatches – for tournament administrators.
Santa should deliver stopwatches, Swiss made, to every tournament administrator in golf with clear instructions on how to use them. He should fit them with horns that go off loudly when someone breaches their time limit over a shot.
Maybe then we really will stamp out slow play.

9. An appreciation – of good golf writing and reporting.
If I had a magic wand I’d wave it over every newspaper owner, publisher and editor to force them to stop shedding journalists. So many good golf writers have left newspapers in the U.S. that soon media centers at PGA Tour events will take the shape of pup tents.
It’s started over here too, with The Daily Telegraph releasing long-time correspondent Lewine Mair. What a travesty.
Soon there will be no reporters at tournaments, just agency writers and tour communications staff. The former can’t cover everything, while the latter only write good-news stories.
With this situation, tournament coverage will become bland and boring.

If you want to read Alistair Tait's full list of Christmas Wishes, please go to the website -


Friday, December 19, 2008

Maguire twins top Irish writers' poll

The Maguire twins, Leona and Lisa, have been voted joint winners of the “2008 Women's Amateur of the Year Award” by the Irish Golf Writers' Association.
The 13-year-old identical twins dominated Irish women's golf in 2008. Leona won the Lancome Irish Women's Close championship, defeating Lisa in the final; but Lisa was to gain a measure of revenge by defeating her sister in the Irish Girls' Close championship and by also adding the prestigious European Young Masters championship to her list of honours.
The Maguires also received the Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswomen's award for May following Leona's Championship win and Lisa's Leitrim Cup win as leading qualifier in the star-studded women's field.
Pádraig Harrington's outstanding performances where he retained the Open championship at Royal Birkdale in July before adding the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in August has earned him the 'Professional of the Year' award.
The Maguires and the other winners - Shane Lowry, winner of the 'Men's Amateur of the Year'; and Brendan Edwards, recipient of the 'Distinguished Services' - will receive their awards at a dinner, sponsored by AIB Bank, which takes place in Dublin on January 8, 2009.
Shane Lowry maintained his impressive amateur career with a fine 2008 that included individual wins in the West of Ireland amateur championship and the North of Ireland amateur championship, and he was also a key member of Ireland's six-man team which retained the European Team Championship.
Brendan Edwards, the recipient of the 'Distinguished Services' award, has served Irish golf magnificently as a player and administrator. As a player, he represented Ireland from 1961 to 1973 and won the North of Ireland amateur championship in 1973. He also captained Ireland to the European Team Championship in 1983 and served as a Walker Cup selector.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

England's Golf Roses just fail against
Eggheads in BBC2 Quiz

England’s Golf Roses put up a cracking fight against the Eggheads in the BBC2 quiz.
The Roses – representing the English Women’s Golf Association – came within a whisker of winning the £2,000 prize pot. They sailed through the four preliminary rounds, where individual team members went head to head with an Egghead on a specialist subject.
All four Roses won. But they came to grief on their last question in the final, general knowledge, round. They were asked: “Who became the first woman to fly across the English Channel in 1912?”
Their choices were Harriet Quimby, Amy Johnson and Nancy Bird. After much discussion – and with misgivings – they opted for Amy Johnson. The correct answer was Harriet Quimby.
Their Egghead opponent correctly answered his question to give the overall victory to his side. The EWGA team was:
Performance director Linda Bayman, past English stroke-play and Yorkshire champion Sara Garbutt, compliance officer Kirstie Jennings and compliance assistant Karen Cassidy, and tournament secretary Emma Lowe.
“We had a fantastic time recording the quiz and it was great to see the show,” said Emma Lowe. “I think we can hold our heads up high.”
Lyndsey Hewison
Press & PR Officer
English Women's Golf Association


Golf job opportunity at Aberdeen's Deeside Golf Club

Frank Coutts looking for a

new assistant to replace

Nick Reid ... and it

doesn't have to be a male!

Deeside Golf Club's Director of Golf, Frank Coutts, is looking for a successor to his long-serving assistant Nick Reid who is leaving at the end of January.
Nick's successor can be male or female, says Frank whose pro's shop is ideally sited at the entrance to the splendid clubhouse which was opened by The Duke of York.
"The person, either gender, I am looking for can be a qualified assistant or a trainee or someone who wants to undergo PGA training with me, preferrably a competent golfer with a low handicap," says Frank who was himself a member of the private club on the western outskirts of Aberdeen before he turned professional, having been capped for Scotland and getting to the verge of Walker Cup status.
"I would be looking for him or her to start work with me in early February or by arrangement."
Nick Reid (pictured above by Cal Carson Golf Agency) has been Frank's assistant for nine years and became fully PGA qualified in November 2007.
"Nick wants to try playing full-time on the Tartan Tour and he has a sponsor, the John Lawrie Group. He will be hoping to compete in all the SPGA Order of Merit events in 2009 and I am sure he will become a better player with the challenge of playing full time," says Coutts.
"He joined me as a junior member of Newmachar Golf Club in 1999 and was a member of their Junior Pennant League-winning team."
Nick Reid was a winner on the North-east Golfers' Alliance winter circuit last year.
Anyone interested in working with Frank Coutts can contact him at Deeside Golf Club (01224 861041).

+There is certainly no barrier to females entering golf as a profession in the North-east of Scotland. Muriel Thomson has been Portlethen Golf Club's first and only pro since she retired in the early 1990s from the tournament circuit which became the Ladies European Tour. Former Aberdeenshire women's champion Katy Thomson recently transferred from the Aspire Golf Centre, where she began her PGA training, to the King's Links Golf Centre, Aberdeen.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Morag Duncan a first in Stonehaven Golf Club's
120-year history

Stonehaven Golf Club, founded in 1888, is one of the oldest clubs in the North-east of Scotland but it has never had a lady as club manager/secretary at any time over those 120 years ... until now!
Step forward Morag Duncan whose experience in balancing the books and also as a golf club member and official make her an ideal choice for the position.
"I have been a golfer for more years than I care to remember and as I have moved around the country I have been a member at Strathaven, Bathgate and Longniddry Golf Clubs before moving to Stonehaven in 2001," says Morag.
"I have been Treasurer of the Stonehaven Ladies Section for the last 7 years and served on the Stonehaven Golf Club Council for three years, holding the post of Social Convener for that period. "My background is Accounts and Payroll, having helped run a business of 10 retail stores while bringing up a family, after which I moved to the Accounts Department at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh.
"It was here that I met my present husband, Douglas, at a business lunch where he asked all the right questions about my hole in one at Longniddry Golf Club the previous evening!
"Since moving to Stonehaven I have been employed with the Church of Scotland in care work and latterly as Accounts Administrator at Clashfarquhar House Residential Care Home.
"I am looking forward to my new challenge at Stonehaven Golf Club and hopefully another hole in one but not looking to change my husband as a result."
*Morag Duncan takes over from Willie Donald who has been a member of Stonehaven Golf Club since 1954. He helped out the club on the administration side from 1991 as a committee member and from March 1994 as club manager/secretary. Willie is currently president of the North-east District of the Scottish Golf Union.


Musselburgh International Hickory
Challenge is launched

Hickory golf goes from strength to strength. Barely a month after the successful staging of the fourth PGA World Hickory Open (WHO) at Craigielaw in East Lothian in Scotland, an addition to the World Hickory Open is launched.
Involving both existing Open sponsors East Lothian Council and the board of The World Hickory Open Championship together with The St. Andrews Golf Company, a new international hickory competition to be known as The Musselburgh International Hickory Challenge is to be created. According to WHO Chairman Lionel Freedman, the Challenge will be played over the historic Old Course Links and will be open to professionals and amateurs alike.
The two day event will be held on 21st and 22nd September 2009. The first day will be a handicap medal-play event with the top 20 players respectively representing Scotland and Overseas, qualifying for the second day, which will be run on a ‘Ryder Cup’ format with Scotland playing the Rest of the World. The added benefit of the adjacent Racecourse Grandstand and its truly wonderful facilities, which will be made available to competitors and spectators, will provide a most impressive backdrop for the occasion.
East Lothian Council’s John Caldwell says,
"The notion of an international challenge on the Old Course seemed a natural development of The World Hickory Open given the latter's success and growing popularity over the last four years, and Musselburgh's early involvement - the inaugural Hickory Open was played over this historic nine hole links course. The Scottish Clan’s Homecoming in 2009 is guaranteed to provide added impetus to the competition and will help to bring it to the attention of a global audience.
"In turn, this will help to remind golfers around the world of the important role that Musselburgh's Old Links played in the late 19th century when it was host to The Open itself on six occasions between 1874 and 1889, and the Town was the birthplace of no less than five Open Champions who won the Championship eleven times.
“The economic and cultural benefit to the local community, as well as to the area, of this Challenge are potentially significant. With the management team of The PGA World Hickory Open combined with Musselburgh's historical contribution to the game of golf stretching back over four hundred years, we believe we are giving the Challenge every chance of becoming a successful annual event,” says Ewan Glen, Director of both the hickory specialist St Andrew Golf Company and WHO.


Friday, November 14, 2008

EGWA appoint John Green as finance
director and company secretary

The English Women’s Golf Association has appointed a finance director and company secretary. He is John Green, an accountant who has held senior management positions with major companies.
John is a member of the EWGA management board and has taken up his duties with immediate effect. He said: “I am very much looking forward to this new role.”
John has spent most of his career with British Gas and IBM, specialising in finance and Information Technology.
During his time with British Gas, John’s responsibilities included ensuring that all computer systems were protected and ran efficiently. He was closely involved in the centralisation of all IT at the company and his ground-breaking work on investment appraisal of IT was the subject of a paper published by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He carried out board level work on enhancing shareholder value shortly before British Gas was split into Centrica and Transco.
At IBM, John managed projects for organisations including Barclays Bank, Boots, Diageo and Adtranz. He introduced many new and money-saving processes.
Most recently he has developed his own finance and training consultancy. John also lectures in finance and accountancy for the Open University.
In his spare time John enjoys swimming, cycling and entering competitions. He is married with two grown-up children.
Lyndsey Hewison

Press & PR Officer


Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's in a name? Quite a lot, if you are
talking about the United States

I have never made any secret of the fact that I think we are too traditional, too conservative when it comes to naming our golf clubs and courses. Almost without exception they are given names that identify their geographical location.
I was once involved in the opening of a brand new course, of which one of the features was a small lake inhabited by swans. I suggested the name should be Swan Lake Golf Club. Never stood a chance of being accepted, of course. The name chosen was, inevitably, the name of the estate on which the course had been built.
All of this comes back to me as two names from the American golf news tickled my fancy this week.
On the college front, the ECCC Fall Invitational has just been played at DANCING RABBIT Golf Club, Choctaw in the state of Mississippi. What a great name! It could only have been chosen in the United States.
Also, the US PGA Tour Qualifying School's Stage 2 events are being played this week. One of them is at Panama City Beach, Florida at Hombre Golf Club. That's quite a distinctive title but wait until you hear the names of its three courses: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
On the tee, Clint Eastwood!
If you have ever come across a golf club or course the name of which appealed to you, E-mail me at


Sunday, November 02, 2008


Golf is not escaping the Credit Crunch ... Lyle Anderson has had to put Loch Lomond Golf Club and course on the market. See the full story on


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busy September week in Ayrshire next year

Next year's The Duke of York Young Champions' tournament at Dundonald Links will be played from September 8 to 10.
Also in Ayrshire that week, the women's home international matches will be played at Irvine Golf Club from September 9 to 11.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tiger Woods' wife "expecting in late winter"

Tiger Woods' wife is pregnant with their second child.
Woods said on his website that Elin is expecting in late winter without being more specific on a due date.
He has not played golf since his US Open victory in June, and two weeks later had reconstructive surgery on his left knee that put him out for the year.
Woods’ first child, daughter Sam, was born on the Monday after the 2007 US Open.
“Elin is feeling great, and we are both thrilled,” Woods said. “While my injury has been disappointing and frustrating, it has allowed me to spend a lot of time watching Sam grow. I can't begin to tell you how rewarding it is being a dad and spending time with her and Elin.
“The injury has been a blessing and a disappointment.”
The world No. 1 player has begun rehabilitation and has traveled recently to Dubai and New York for business projects.
Woods had said after he married in 2004 that he wanted more than one child. Woods is an only child, and Elin has a twin sister.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Sponsored Golfathon at Strathmore Golf Centre

By DAWN BUTCHART, Perth & Kinross Ladies County Captain
Good luck to five team members and one very silly Captain who are taking part in a sponsored Golfathon tomorrow at Strathmore Golf Centre.
The day will begin at 7.30am with round number one, then be followed by a slightly weary round 2 at 11.45.
The day will be complete with an exhausting round 3 at around 4.30pm.
The five team members participating are Alexandra Bushby who has organised the event, Carol Muir, Annabel Niven, Emily Ogilvy and Laura Walker.
I am hoping they will help me round, if not carry me round.
The three remaining team members are unfortunately unavailable, Carly Booth is competing in Belgium, Eve Muirhead is on Olympic curling duty and Jillian Milne has family commitments but they have all been involved in the gaining sponsors.
It is fantastic to see the girls supporting the county and helping to fund next month's participation in the County Finals at Inchmarlo. I am very proud of them all.
We wish the girls all the very best of luck and hope the sun will shine for them all! I will post the final tally soon.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

SLGA Tournament Officer Fiona Farquharson, at work on her laptop at last week's Scottish girls championship at Alyth GC, shows Clare-Marie Carlton how it's done (Cal Carson Golf Agency image, all rights reserved).

Clare-Marie Carlton joins SLGA
staff as tournament assistant

Scotland junior golf international Clare-Marie Carlton has completed her first week as tournament assistant on the staff of the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association.
The 21-year-old from Paisley and a member of Fereneze Golf Club had completed a four-year course at Stirling University and was keen to obtain a golf-related job.
It was her good luck that the SLGA were advertising for an assistant to help Tournament Officer Fiona Farquharson and she was chosen to fill the vacancy.
“It’s a great break for me and I aim to make the most of it. It will mean travelling round the country, helping to run SLGA tournaments but I should still be able to play in the Order of Merit 36-hole events at the weekends,” said Clare-Marie.
She has played for Scotland at Under-21 and girls’ internationals level and won the Scottish schoolgirls’ championship at Murrayshall, Perth in 2004.
Clare-Marie was runner-up to Louise Fleming in the Scottish Under-21 stroke-play championship at West Kilbride in 2005.
In 2003, at the age of 16, she became one of the youngest winners of the Renfrewshire county championship. She was beaten finalist in 2007.
Miss Carlton’s first week in her new job coincided with the Scottish Under-18 girls’ championship at Alyth Golf Club, Perthshire so Fiona Farquharson was able to start her assistant’s on-job training without delay.
The SLGA headquarters are in Perth and Clare-Marie intends to travel daily from her home in Paisley for the time being.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Carol Semple Thompson to be
awarded a place in World
Golf Hall of Fame

Captain of the United States Curtis Cup for this year's historic match over the Old Course, St Andrews, Carol Semple Thompson, a seven-time winner of USGA championships, will be recognized alongside posthumous inductees Denny Shute, Craig Woodand golf writer Herbert Warren Wind as part of the 2008 Class at this year's World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The announcement was this week at Interlachen Country Club, site of the 2008 U.S. Women's Open.
Shute, Thompson, Wind and Wood will be inducted alongside golf course architect Pete Dye and one other inductee who will be announced later this summer.
"Carol's life in golf is that of the quintessential amateur," said Carol Mann, World Golf Hall of Fame member and ambassador. "Her game is strong, but her grace, humility, dedication, and humour are her strongest assets. She has contributed with intelligence and integrity, preserving the best interests of the game of golf in each of her leadership roles.
"Her parents, Phyllis and Bud, both past leaders of the USGA, would be very proud of this new honour and recognition as a 2008 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame."
On the news of Shute, Wind and Wood, Hall of Fame member Ben Crenshaw said, "The induction of these individuals is richly deserved, and I think anyone who studies what they have achieved would be overjoyed for them and their families.
"When I heard the news, I went immediately to Mr. Wind's book 'The Story of American Golf' and was struck by the irony of it all. In that book, Mr. Wind so eloquently details the pursuits of Denny Shute and Craig Wood, two men with incredibly successful careers that often overlapped. And now, so many years later, the three will forever be linked again as they join the Hall of Fame's Class of 2008."
Shute, selected in the Veterans Category, had 15 PGA Tour victories to his credit, including three majors: the 1933 British Open and 1936 and 1937 US PGA championships. For 63 years, Shute carried the title as the last man to win back-to-back US PGA Championship titles until Tiger Woods achieved the same in 1999 and 2000.
Shute was a member of three U.S. Ryder Cup teams: 1931, '33 and '37.
Shute first started winning as an amateur in West Virginia before returning to his native Ohio to win the Ohio Amateur in 1927 and the Ohio Open from 1929-31. From 1945 until he retired in 1972, he was the head professional at Portage Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Shute was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 25, 1904 and died May 13, 1974.
Thompson, selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category, is one of only 11 golfers to have won the United States Women's Amateur and British Ladies Open Amateur, events she won in 1973 and '74 respectively.
She has won six additional USGA championships: the 1999-2002 USGA Senior Women's Amateurs and the 1990 and '97 United States Women's Mid-Amateurs. She has played in more than 100 USGA championships, including 32 U.S. Women's Opens.
Thompson played on a record 12 USA Curtis Cup teams and captained the victorious 2006 and 2008 USA teams. She has played for the United States in five Women's World Amateur Team Championships (She is pictured above by Cal Carson Golf Agency on the first tee at the Old Course during the recent Curtis Cup match).
Thompson has served on the USGA Women's Committee and Executive Committee, as well as on the Advisory Committee for the PGA of America. She won the USGA's 2003 Bob Jones Award, the Association's top award given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf, and the 2005 First Lady of Golf Award presented by the PGA. She was born on Oct. 27, 1948 in Sewickley, Pa., where she still resides.
Wind, selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category, wrote for The New Yorker from 1947 to '53 and again from 1960 to '90, when he retired. He spent the interim years writing for Sports Illustrated, and, in April 1958, termed the phrase "Amen Corner" when writing about holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National Golf Club. Wind also wrote several books about golf including "The Story of American Golf" and "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf," written with fellow Hall of Fame member Ben Hogan.
Wind graduated from Yale University and earned a master's degree in English at Cambridge University in England. He won the USGA's Bob Jones Award in 1995 and remains the only writer to have ever done so. He also served as a volunteer on two USGA committees for nearly 30 years. Wind was born Aug. 11, 1917, in Brockton, Mass., and died May 30, 2005.
"Mr. Wind, in my mind, is the foremost golf writer in America," Crenshaw added. "He knew so many people and witnessed so much in golf history and had the talent to make people come to life through his writing. He enriched my life beyond golf and encouraged my love of golf history. He was a remarkable person."
Wood, elected on the PGA TOUR Ballot with 65 percent of the vote, earned 21 US PGA Tour titles, including the 1941 Masters, where he became the first wire-to-wire winner of that tournament.
Wood won the U.S. Open the same year, becoming the first person to capture the first two major championships in one year. He also was a member of three Ryder Cup teams: 1931, '33 and '35.
Wood was born in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Nov. 18, 1901, and died May 8, 1968. In 1948, Wood's home city of Lake Placid honoured him by renaming the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club the Craig Wood Golf Course.
"The World Golf Hall of Fame continues to recognize the greatest players and contributors that this game has seen, regardless of the era in which they lived," said Jack Peter, senior vice president and COO of the Hall of Fame. "The Class of 2008 will be a convergence of those from a bygone era with those who continue in golf today."
Dye, Shute, Thompson, Wind and Wood -- plus the final inductee yet to be announced -- will be honoured at the 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 10, at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ladies Golf Union set to take
lead in penalising slow play


Over the past few weeks we have seen extreme examples of slow and fast play in women's amateur golf.
The introduction of four-ball, better-ball ties in the 2008 Curtis Cup match over the Old Course, St Andrews produced one tie which was on the course for 5 1/2 hours.
One of the reasons was all four players had a look at the putting lines on each green ... as well as all four caddies.
At one stage, there was so much consultation it looked as though they might call in a fifth opinon from the referee or someone in the crowd.
"It was terrible," said no less a person that Carol Semple Thompson, captain of the victorious United States team.
Fast forward to last Sunday's 18-hole final of the British women's open amateur championship at North Berwick between two Swedish players, Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall.
Both pulled their own trolleys, wasted absolutely no time on the greens and fairly strode out along the fairways. Their 16-hole match was all over in UNDER THREE HOURS.
Somewhere between these two extremes is the desirable pace of play.
Ladies Golf Union Director of Championships Susan Simpson (picture above by courtesy of Tom Ward) says the governing body of women's amateur golf in Great Britain & Ireland is concerned at the general pace of play in events under their auspices.
All players in the championship at North Berwick were warned in their entry forms that slow play would be punished and there were reminders from the starter.
The result was that, in the main, all rounds were played within the time limites laid down by the LGU.
But Susan Simpson says that the LGU is likely to go a step further and adopt the United States Golf Association time-keeping format.
Apparently, the USGA have time stations periodically on the course for their tournaments. If players in a group do not pass a particular time station on or within the time allowed, then they are given a warning of possible penalties.
If at the next time station, they are still over the time limit, then a two-stroke penalty is imposed.
The downside of this set-up is that it punishes ALL members of the group, whether or not they are to blame for the slow play.
I spoke to one veteran Welsh Curtis Cup player at St Andrews and she is of the opinion that the tournament referees - and there seems to be an abundance of them these days - have the remedy in THEIR hands.
"They should warn and then penalise every time they see players guilty of slow play. In a match-play contest, the referee should not hesitate to pick up the ball of a slow player and say you've lost that hole, make your way to the next tee," she said.
"If referees did more of that kind of thing, players would soon come to realise that they will be penalised, not may be penalised if they play slowly."
She has a point. Can you remember the last time a professional or amateur golfer was penalised for slow play in a tournament? And yet everybody agrees the modern game of golf is grinding to a halt.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

USGA introduces online process for
being reinstated as an amateur

It seems you can do just about everything these days "online" ... even start the process of being reinstated from the professional to the amateur ranks of golfers.
It's now possible in America. Stand by for it becoming the norm on this side of the Atlantic.
The following appears on the United States Golf Association website:

The United States Golf Association has launched an easy online process for individuals from various professional ranks who want to be reinstated as amateurs. Individuals can visit and click on the "Rules and Handicapping" menu bar at the top of the page, then choose "Amateur Status."
Before applying for reinstatement, all acts contrary to the Rules of Amateur Status must cease. For example, professional golfers in any organization, such as the PGA of America or the LPGA, must first resign their membership before applying for reinstatement. Playing professionals must no longer be active on any of the tours.
The routine time period for reinstatement is one year for an individual who was a professional for less than five years. The waiting period is routinely two years for those who have been a professional for more than five years. Longer waiting periods may be prescribed for anyone playing extensively for prize money.
"We find that professionals want to reinstate their amateur status for various reasons, whether they are unsuccessful in playing for prize money, making a career change, or for personal reasons," said Donna Mummert, USGA assistant director of Amateur Status and Rules of Golf. "We continue to see a high volume each year in the reinstatement process. It is wonderful to have so many returning to play golf for the spirit of competition as amateurs."
In addition to reducing the paperwork on the part of the individual filing, the online process that was developed and tested over the past 12 months aims to cut processing time in half and capture a tracking database of all applicants in the system.
Once a golfer submits a completed application, that information is shared with the golfer’s state and regional golf association for review. The USGA staff then processes the application and assigns a reinstatement date. A computer-generated reminder is automatically sent to the applicant’s e-mail address when his or her reinstatement date is nearing.
"The online process is a lot faster and easier for everyone involved, from the administrators to the individual golfer," said Jack Nance, executive director of the Carolinas Golf Association, one of the associations that helped the USGA in test marketing. "We have caught up to technology at just the right time because there has been a bigger response to reinstatement in the last several years."
Reinstated amateurs have comprised about half of the U.S. Mid-Amateur field (age 25 and older) and about one third of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur field in recent years.