Prestonfield Golf Club has been rewarded for their remarkable work with young golfers, after being named the ClubGolf Junior Club of the Year at the 2016 Annodata Scottish Golf Awards.
The Edinburgh club has transformed their junior section in the four years since they introduced the ClubGolf programme, increasing numbers from 10 to 178 members in 2015, which includes 40 girls.
ClubGolf Coordinator, Liz Taylor, believes change has been key to their success; they allow jeans in the clubhouse, trainers on the course, and the chance to gain a handicap over three, six, nine, or 18 holes. The club has practice facilities and competitions for children, is active on social media, and has also increased its adult membership and eradicated its debts.
Liz said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits given the work that has been put in over the past five years. The coaches have built up it up from 10 kids to 178. We just can’t believe it, what a reward.
“Our congratulations to the other shortlisted clubs and to all the clubs in Scotland who are putting their kids through the junior programme and who will see the same benefits as we have from it. A huge thanks to ClubGolf and to Lesley Nicholson for her help and support. Without her we wouldn’t be standing on the stage today.”
It was a Lothians’ double with Haddington captain David Drew winning the Volunteer of the Year award. The East Lothian club’s hard work in attracting new golfers saw their membership rise by a whopping 270 in 2015, many of whom joined through their “member get member” scheme. Speaking after picking up his award, David said:
“I’m absolutely delighted at the recognition Haddington Golf Club is getting. I was shocked to be nominated, shocked to be in the last four, and now shocked to be the winner but I’m really pleased and it will be good for the club.
“I’ve worked hard but I’ve a fantastic team of people with the right skills, doing the right job, and driving the club forward, so it’s not just about me but the whole team of volunteers.”
The star-studded audience of over 650 guests assembled in Edinburgh to recognise the achievements of golfers at all levels of the game, concluding with Scotland’s most successful female professional golfer, Catriona Matthew, entering the nation’s golfing ‘Hall of Fame’.
The coveted Player of the Year Award was won by US-based Russell Knox after he became the first Scot to win a World Golf Championship event in China last November, an honour accepted by his radio DJ sister, Diane, who co-hosted the event with broadcaster and Deacon Blue drummer, Dougie Vipond.
The Inspiration award was emotionally won by David Sneddon, a former army commander who has found a new life in golf at Kingsfield Golf Centre since having his leg amputated, while the inaugural Club Manager of the Year was won by Crail Golfing Society’s David Roy.
Guests had the chance to have photographs taken with iconic trophies, including the Solheim and Walker Cup, and win fantastic golfing prizes in the fundraising auction and prize draw, including a team in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Pro-Am, Open Championship hospitality at Royal Troon and a trip to this year’s Ryder Cup.
Annodata 2016 Scottish Golf Awards:
Amateur Golfer of the Year: Ewen Ferguson (Sponsor: Turkish Airlines)
Seniors Order of Merit: Ronnie Clark (Sponsor: Spire Edinburgh Hospitals)
Shot of the Year: Rickie Fowler (Sponsor: Scottish Golf Passport)
Boys Order of Merit & Girls Order of Merit: Sandy Scott & Chloe Goadby (Sponsor: Strathmore Water)
Adam Hunter Award: Sandy Scott (Sponsor: Strathmore Water)
Junior Club of the Year: Prestonfield GC (Sponsor: ClubGolf)
Men's Order of Merit & Ladies Order of Merit: Kyle Godsman & Shannon McWilliam (Sponsor: Annodata)
Team of the Year: GB&I Walker Cup team (Sponsor: Nexus Packaging)
Club Manager of the Year: David Roy (Sponsor: Scottish Golf)
Volunteer of the Year: David Drew (Sponsor: Pike & Bambridge)
Inspiration Award: David Sneddon (Sponsor: On Course Foundation)
Bob Torrance Coach of the Year: David Torrance (Sponsor: Cameron Presentations)
Player of the Year: Russell Knox (Sponsor: Aberdeen Asset Management)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Catriona Matthew (Sponsor: Allied Surveyors Scotland)
David Drew received his award from former Scotland rugby captain and broadcaster Andy Nicol, and was joined by his daughter Maura and wife Margaret.
The aim of ClubGolf is to create a development pathway from entry level through to the highest levels of achievement, enabling increased access to golf, higher participation levels, improved standards of performance, and sustained growth in the future.