Sunday, 31 January 2010

Pamela Pretswell feels a "Little Rusty" due to poor weather and examinations

The 80th Portuguese women's open amateur championship, ended at Amendoeira Golf Resort on the Algarve today and Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle) , who was playing in her first competition since last September's Home Internationals, was bang in contention with a sub-par opening round of 71 and then gradually slipped down the field. She had been unable to produce consistent good golf because she was simply too rusty. Subsequent rounds of 74, 77 and 74 gave her a total of eight-over-par 296.
She admitted before she left for Portugal that a combination of studies for exams at Glasgow University and the severity of the Scottish winter which closed most courses for a long spell, had raised her enthusiasm for a game of golf but left her desperately short of match-practice.
Anna Arrese from Spain was the winner on a total of 283

Friday, 29 January 2010

SLGA Championships - Changes in 2010

The SLGA has announced the following changes to its 2010 Championships:

Girls’ (Close) Championship
The 36-hole qualifying stroke play for the Scottish Girls’ (Close) Championship at Eyemouth Golf Club will now be held over two days (July 13 & 14) with the final of the match play stages on the morning of Saturday, July 17.

Junior Open Stroke Play Championship
This 54-hole championship at Dunfermline Golf Club will now be played over three days from July 21-23.

Scottish Match Play Foursomes
The conditions for this competition have been revised with the handicap limit for the team dropped. Each club may enter a team of 2 or 3 players with individual handicaps of 35 or less.

SLGA Medal Regional Finals
The winners of the SLGA Silver and Bronze Medals at each club will be eligible to play in a Regional Final of their choice. Entries will be limited to 60 silver and 60 bronze players at each venue and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Entry forms will be sent to clubs with the annual mailing and the closing date for all the Regional Finals is Monday, April 26. In the event of a venue being oversubscribed players will be allocated their second choice.
Two silver and two bronze players from each of the six venues will qualify for the Grand Final at Crieff on Sunday, September 5.

Commenting on these changes, Fiona Cowan, Championship Director of the SLGA, said:
“These changes have been made in response to feedback from players. We believe that they will enhance the quality of our events and result in increased participation”

Full conditions for all SLGA Championships and other competitions are contained in the SLGA handbook. Entry forms will be available on the SLGA website from the beginning of February.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Pamela does well in the 1st Round of the Portuguese Open Amateur Championship

West of Scotland's Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle) almost made it to the top of the class in today's first round of the Portuguese Womens' Open Amateur Golf Championship over the Oceanico O'Connor Jun course at the Amendoeira course on the Algarve.
Pamela had birdies at the par-4 second and two short holes on the home stretch, the 13th and 17th in halves of 36 and 35. Her round of 71 was in 2nd place behind Holly Clyburn (England)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

SLGA and SGU aim to amalgamate by end of 2011

Following Sunday’s (January 24) Scottish Golf Union annual general meeting, the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association and the Scottish Golf Union confirmed that they were formally considering an amalgamation, having been working increasingly closely together over recent years.
The men’s and ladies’ amateur golf governing bodies in Scotland already have a shared strategy, joint committees and shared staff in the form of Performance and Development Managers, as well as being partners on the national junior programme, clubgolf.
There is also a reciprocal arrangement whereby the respective Chairmen of the SLGA and SGU attend the Board meetings of each organisation. Given the increased level of co-operation, both Boards have agreed that amalgamation is the next logical step and jointly they have appointed Donald Turner as independent chair to lead a new working group.
Turner will oversee the consideration of all measures necessary to achieve amalgamation and will make recommendations to the respective organisations.Turner has a strong business and golf background, having been on the UK National Executive with accountants Ernst & Young and is the current captain of Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club on the Isle of Arran.
SGU Chairman, Douglas Connon, speaking at the AGM, said:“We are delighted that someone of Donald Turner’s skills and experience will assist us in this important process and are committed to ensuring we manage what is a significant proposed change as smoothly as possible.”
Connon’s counterpart at the SLGA, Shona Malcolm added:
“There has been invaluable progress in Scottish golf as a result of the two governing bodies working more closely together and it is now sensible to formalise this by amalgamating. This will undoubtedly bring even more benefits to Scottish golf and our member clubs.”
The new working group will be established over the next few weeks and consultation meetings will take place throughout the year with the aim of agreeing the necessary changes to achieve amalgamation by the end of 2011.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Lauren Mackin is beaten by fellow Scot Jane Turner

Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University student Jane Turner (Craigielaw) beat fellow Scot Lauren Mackin (Ranfurly Castle) in Doherty-Jones Challenge Cup women's amateur match-play tournament, the third event on the Orange Blossom Tour, at Coral Ridge Country Club, Fort Lauderdale.
Lauren who now lives in Majorca was beaten by 5 and 4. To read the full report go to the Gillian Kirkwood Website

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Lauren Mackin meets Jane Turner in Florida in the last 16

Jane Turner (Craigielaw) now plays Majorca-based Scot Lauren Mackin (Ranfurly Castle) who was the leading European and fifth qualifier at Coral Ridge Country Club, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
This is the third event on Florida's Orange Blossom women's amateur tour.
To read the full results and report go to the
Gillian Kirkwood Website

Not enough clubs taking positive action to retain young players ... and attract new ones

By Douglas Lowe
The worm is turning, and what encourages Andy Salmon, development manager for both the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association, is the way a steady trickle of clubs are taking positive action to retain young players and attract new ones.
But he warns it is not happening quickly enough.
It is a familiar lament that clubs lose most of their juniors as soon as they turn 18. Much of that is to do with leaving the area for education or employment reasons, but there is also a significant cost factor that is behind what is believed to be a widespread dearth of club members in the 18-to-30 age-group.
It is not that these players do not exist. They are known to be out there, but, in what has become known as the nomadic way, they prefer to pay green fees to the huge outlay of joining fees and annual subscriptions.
“A lot of clubs see young players leave because of the jump in fees from a very low cost to full membership which can be five or six times what the junior membership was,” noted Salmon, “and as a result many clubs have introduced a stepped pricing structure up to age 30 such as at Old Ranfurly and West Kilbride.”
Effectively, this is a way of subsidising young players and that is turning the old culture on its head. It used to be that younger players were expected to keep annual subscriptions down for senior members but current demography and demand has shown such practices to be flawed.
“We have never said older golfers are bad or the enemy even though a lot of people perceived it that way last year,” assured Salmon. “We want to hang on to the older golfers but supplement them with this younger generation.”
The Single Equality Bill, currently going through parliament and due to come into force this year, moreover, might push clubs’ membership policies further down the line by insisting on equal rights and making it possible to offer discounts only to minorities such as the 18-to-30 group.
“We will be publishing detailed advice around that in the next few weeks and it will absolutely have implications for clubs in terms of how they treat men and women in a mixed club. There are also requirements around age discrimination and we will be advising clubs on whether it will still be permissible to offer discounted memberships for, say, over-65s,” he said.
In the meantime, the drive for members continues and reciprocal arrangements with other clubs are becoming a common way of adding value to memberships. In addition, the SGU’s golf card scheme, offering half-price green fees to golf club members, is now operating at 120 clubs.
Yet there are still strong signs of apathy and a sense of anxiety that the sleeping giant needs to be woken up before it is too late.
Of 580 Scottish clubs, only 127 responded to a survey relating to last year’s Golf Awareness Week – a project that will be repeated this year just after the Masters – and just 173 were represented at a series of roadshows in November and December.
Over the last five years, memberships are down by more than 10,000, and that is costing dearly the governing bodies who are in the process of raising annual per-capita levies, the SGU from £7.20 to £10 over a period of three years, and the SLGA from £13 to £14.
“There are some great examples of clubs generating between 40 and 120 new members on the back of a specific action like radio advertising, a joining fee offer, an open day and these kind of things,” said Salmon.
“We are greatly encouraged by that and we don’t want to paint a negative picture. I think things are heading in the right direction but more clubs could sit up and take a look.
“I believe clubs need three things. First, they need a strong leadership, and by that I mean a good secretary/manager to prioritise expenditure. Second, the golf course has to be right, and third, there has to be a marketing policy.
“All too often marketing – and the golf course as well to a lesser extent – are the first areas clubs look at in making savings. I don’t think that necessarily is the right thing. One or two clubs are even wondering whether the secretary/manager is someone they can do without. I would suggest that is not the way to go.”
A survey of 50 golfers who joined a club last year showed that the quality of the course was the top priority followed by a welcoming environment and then the cost, particularly joining fees which put off many people. A key argument for keeping them is to prevent golfers changing clubs every year at a whim, but it is a controversial device.
“I don’t buy the notion that you charge a joining fee to trap members to a golf club,” said Salmon.
“Marketing people will tell you that you trap people in a golf club by giving them value for money and one of the recent changes we have seen is the emergence of a customer service ethic.
“If you are in Glasgow, where all the clubs are full and charging a £1000 joining fee, then you would be daft not to charge one at your club. It is about doing what is right in your local marketplace and what is right for your business objectives, but I do think there is a trend away from joining fees.
“On the whole, I don’t think clubs are changing quickly enough, but it is not our position to be telling clubs what they should be doing and when they should be doing it. There is definitely a culture of positive change going on, but is it happening at all 580 clubs in Scotland? No, it is definitely not.
“I would like to think that in five years’ time we will be in a great place. There will be much more marketing, clubs will be more business-like and also by then we hope the economy will be in great shape. I am very optimistic.”

Official figures for Scottish golf club members over last five years
Men 187,769 (down 4.23%)
Women 35,388 (down 9.89%)
Boys 25,047 (down 5.98%)
Girls 2,964 (up 3.63%)
Notes: Early returns for current figures show a further 0.89% fall and are feared to drop further. Adult figures are inflated by an unknown number who are members of more than one club and junior numbers are estimated from figures provided voluntarily by around half of clubs

Top five reasons for new members joining clubs last year
70% - I like the course
36% - I was made to feel welcome
30% - No joining fee deal
26% - Annual fees more affordable than others
22% - Monthly payment plan available

Are the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association doing enough to rescue our clubs?
Is the per-capita levy too high or too low?
Is your club committee the best in Scotland or does it have its collective head in the sand?
What is your solution to falling memberships?

Send your views to

January Madness at Mearns Castle Golf Academy

Membership Includes.

  • Unlimited access to the challenging 9 hole golf course
  • Unlimited access to the short game practice facility
  • Play in club competitions and medals
  • Gain an official CONGU handicap
  • 1/2 price ball for the driving range
  • Sign a friend and family on to the course for only £5!
  • Direct debit payment option available

Other Sale Offers.

20% EXTRA discount on Range Cards when topped up!
Receive up to 50% off the price of balls!
20% off all individual Golf Lessons at Adam Hunter Golf!

Monday, 18 January 2010

GOLF TIMEBOMB -- What do you think ??

* Do you think seniors pay enough for their golf?
* Is your club doing enough to attract young people?
* Are equal rights a good thing?
* What is your solution to falling memberships?

To read more go to the Scottish Golf View Website

Send your views to

SLGA Board members for 2010 -- Know Who they Are

SLGA Board - click to enlarge

Back Row L to R: Winifred McCallum, Fiona Cowan, Sandy Bushby, Helen Cuthbertson, Janet Wake, Dawn Butchart, Lorna Bennett

Front Row: Lynne Terry, Douglas Connon (SGU Chairman in attendance), Shona Malcolm (SLGA Chairman), Emma Wilson (President), Beth Paterson

No Golfing Photographs -- but SNOW SNOW SNOW

There has been little golf this winter and your webmaster has no golfing photos to show you. However, here are some wildlife photos from your webmaster's garden and some photos taken by your West of Scotland Greenlees Secretary Fiona Roger taken up in Boat of Garten. --- Give time to load and make sure your sound is turned on.
Also if you go to "FULL SCREEN" then press esc to come out of the full screen mode

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Winter 2010
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Emma Wilson is the New President of the SLGA

Emma Wilson -- Click to enlarge Emma Wilson -- President of the SLGA - Click to enlarge

Ethel Jack, Anne Byiers and Jean Macintyre - Click to enlarge

Past President Ethel Jack, D&A's Anne Byiers and Lanarkshire's Jean Macintyre - Click to enlarge

The Annual General Meeting of Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association Ltd took place on Saturday 16 January 2010 in the Gannochy Suite, Dewars Centre, Perth.
A record turn-out of 168 lady golfers attended this meeting and heard from Chairman Shona Malcolm that 2009 had been a memorable year for Scottish Ladies’ Golf, what with Catriona Matthew’s victory in the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the Senior Home International Team beating all three opponents on its way to a first- time win, and three Scots representing GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy match.
Catriona was elected as a Vice-President of the SLGA, and the Chairman was delighted to advise the meeting that the Open Champion would be demonstrating her support of Scottish ladies’ golf by attending the current squad’s forthcoming warm weather training in Spain.
The new President, former Chairman Emma Wilson, was elected and paid warm tribute to retiring President Ethel Jack, while the meeting also approved the appointment of new Board members Lorna Bennett, Dawn Butchart and Sandy Bushby. Proposals for the restructuring and modernisation of the Ladies’ Golf Union were agreed, and revised Rules and Regulations of the SLGA adopted.(See links below)
Finance Director Lynne Terry reported the concerning trend of falling lady membership numbers in golf clubs, and emphasised the SLGA’s ongoing determined efforts to raise interest and club participation in the ladies’ and girls’ game.

Notice, Agenda and Report of the Board of Directors
Proposed Revised Rules & Regulations
Documents relating to the resolution proposed by the Ladies' Golf Union are also available:
LGU Proposal for Reorganisation
LGU Draft Rules
LGUCL Articles of Association

Thanks go to Colin Farquharson for the full report

Lauren Mackin in top 20 in Florida

In the South Atlantic Ladies Amateur stroke-play champonship - at Oceanside Country Club, Ormond Beach in Florida yesterday, Majorca-based Scot, Lauren Mackin, a member at Ranfurly Castle tied for 17th place with Scotland internationalist Louise Kenney (Pitreavie) on 307. Lauren had steady rounds of 79, 75, 75 and 78 and could be a contender for a first Scotland cap if she came back to her home land for the "Helen Holm" in April or the Scottish Ladies'(Close) Championship at Craigielaw in May, with the proviso, of course, that she did as well in either or both events.
To read the full report go to the Gillian Kirkwood Website

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Claire Hargan appointed SLGA's - Championship Manager

Claire Hargan, a former Scottish internationalist, has been appointed the new Championship Manager for the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association and will take up the post on January 18th.
To read more go to the Gillian Kirkwood Website


The Annual General Meeting of Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association Ltd will take place at 11.00 am on Saturday 16 January 2010 in the Gannochy Suite, Dewars Centre, Perth.Papers for the meeting have been posted to clubs and are also available here:
Notice, Agenda and Report of the Board of Directors
Minutes of the 2009 AGM
Accounts to 30 September 2009
Proposed Revised Rules & Regulations
Documents relating to the resolution proposed by the Ladies' Golf Union are also available:
LGU Proposal for Reorganisation
LGU Draft Rules
LGUCL Articles of Association

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Lauren Mackin doing well in "The Sally"

Ranfurly Castle's Majorca-based Lauren Mackin is continuing her good form in the South Atlantic Ladies Amateur Championship - "The Sally" for short - after finishing third of the Europeans competing in last week's Harder Hall Women's Invitational, the first event on the Orange Blossom Women's Amateur Tour in Florida.
Lauren had a 79 today, which put her comfortably in among the leading returns.
To read the full report go to the Gillian Kirkwood Website

No Golf - Try this for some practice

This Should Drive You Crazy;
You May Become Addicted -
(Click On Putt)
Thanks go to Anne Paton of Douglas Park Golf Club for that one

The Renfrewshire County Centenary Book

The Renfrewshire County Centenary Book can be Pre Ordered on the RLCGA Website. Although it is mainly about Renfrewshire there are many of the Events in 2009 that happened around the West of Scotland and Scotland that are included in this 200 page book. There are also lots of photographs from most of the events.

East Kilbride Clubhouse destroyed by fire

Firefighters have spent the night tackling a blaze which destroyed a golf clubhouse in south Lanarkshire.
They were called out to East Kilbride golf club at about 6p.m. last night (Tuesday) and are still at the scene. No-one was injured in the incident.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said its crews were severely hampered by poor water supplies and strong winds.
An investigation to discover the cause of the blaze will be carried out by the police and fire service.
The road to the clubhouse in the Nerston area of the town was closed off.

To read the full report go to the Lanarkshire County Website

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Lauren Mackin does well in Florida

Majorca-based Lauren Mackin, who is still a Ranfurly Castle member was the third-best of the Europeans on 308 after the final round of The 55th Harder Hall Women's Invitational which was held at Harder Hall Country Club, Sebring, Florida this week.
Lauren Mackin (San Augustin, Spain & Ranfurly Castle) 74, 78, 78, 78, 308
To read the full report go to the Gillian Kirkwood Website

Friday, 1 January 2010


Emma Wilson, the new Scottish Ladies Golfing Association president, is a direct link with some of the country’s great women golfers of the 1930s and 1940s/
“I come originally from Lanark and came up through the West of Scotland Girls’ Golf Association, encouraged by names such as Helen Holm, Jean McCulloch, May Menzies and Irma Douglas,” says Emma who would reach county team standard as a player.
To Read more go to the Gillian Kirkwood Website

Happy New Year to All our Readers