Neal Anderson has made an enormous contribution to the growth of junior golf at Rothes Golf Club. While the club has been struggling for survival, interest in the junior section has exploded and now forms the strategic focus for the club nurture and develop.
“I feel humbled. We’ve made good strides in our first year, but we’ve lots to do."
With fewer than 10 junior members in 2013, Junior Convenor Neal Anderson led the establishment of a ClubGolf coaching programme in 2014, assisted by five level one volunteer coaches.
The numbers attending Monday night coaching and medals have now reached 57 compared to seven three years earlier. This vast increase in participation is down to Neal and his team of volunteers engaging with local schools and other sports clubs to encourage young people to take up golf.
Neal’s enthusiasm knows no bounds and he is an inspirational character from whom fellow volunteers at Rothes Golf Club benefit greatly. Neal is perceived as the one bringing it all together and making it work, as he is well organised, motivated, and enthusiastic in delivering fun, safe coaching sessions.
He also deals with the work behind the scenes, keeping him glued to his computer for hours at a time, which includes liaising with ClubGolf regional manager Audra Booth and Roving Pro Robbie Stewart. As well as overseeing the process of putting volunteers through their coaching qualifications, he administers handicaps for older juniors and organises events and competitions.
In addition to many hours dedicated to the junior section, Neal also does a power of work as a club council member and has been central to the fundraising efforts required to keep the club running. Neal loves golf, and is really keen to be involved in helping children develop, as he did himself as a youngster at the club.
He is seen as a great communicator not only with the juniors, but with fellow coaches and the club’s roving pro who believes you only need to spend a minute in Neal’s company to understand his enthusiasm, passion and commitment for Rothes and the juniors.
Neal has great plans for the future: the club believes their challenge is to ensure they match his ambitions and that without Neal’s contribution, the future of Rothes Golf Club would be a lot bleaker than it is today.
The junior section of any golf club needs a driving force and Neal is recognised as that at Rothes. He holds the titles of Junior Convenor and ClubGolf coordinator, but his associates believe Neal Anderson is also a great ambassador for the sport and a role model for children at the club.
On hearing he was one of the final four, Neal said:
“I think it’s humbling for both myself and the club to be recognised so everyone involved is pleased to receive this.
“ClubGolf is a simple system which makes it affordable and accessible to so many people in our small community. I have to thank Audra Booth, the Regional Manager, for getting the programme up and running and taking such a great interest in the club.
“I feel humbled. We’ve made good strides in our first year, but we’ve lots to do. Looking at the other nominees, I see how much work I have to do. So it’s wonderful to be recognised at this early stage.”
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