Fortrose & Rosemarkie coach Alistair Tait has won the prestigious ‘Gallacher Award’ as the Golf Foundation honoured volunteers at grass-roots level during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The ClubGolf coach, whose club won the RBS Club of the Year at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards, has been rewarded for his sterling work in the Highlands, and received his award from Ryder Cup hero Nicolas Colsaerts (pictured).
Supporting the coaching at Fortrose & Rosemarkie since 2005, Tait is now Coaching Coordinator of the junior section, seeing this rising from 94 to 131 in 2013.
Alistair secured funding to develop the practice facilities and set out a three-hole mini-course on the practice ground for the younger juniors. Coaching numbers in 2013 were exceptional with 80 children signing up after Easter and a total of nine trained coaches taking regular one-hour sessions.
Alistair also purchased and fitted mirrors to the storage shed on the practice area as a teaching aid, and painted the three covered bays himself. The club’s reputation led to a visit from the French Golf Federation to experience its methods, and the club was the first without a PGA Pro to be awarded the status of a Scottish Golf Development Centre.
Golf Foundation Chief Executive Mike Round said: “Teams need leaders and Fortrose & Rosemarkie’s junior programme has one of the best.”
The Golf Foundation President’s Awards celebrated some of the “heroes of junior golf” who have given their time and enthusiasm to provide young people from all backgrounds and abilities with a start in the game.
Held in the perfect setting of Wentworth Club’s Ballroom, a packed audience from the world of golf heard the stories of nine award winners and their projects, featuring the volunteers, PGA Professionals, junior organisers, schoolteachers and local authority officers who all help to develop the golfers and leading players of the future.
Round added: “Every year we organise this event so we can highlight the incredible work of the people at the grass roots who make it possible for children and young people to experience golf and the benefits it has to offer.”
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.