Wednesday 20 December 2017

Scottish Golf add a 9 Hole Championship

Scottish Golf Adds 9-Hole Final to National Portfolio

A new National 9-Hole Final will feature in Scottish Golf’s calendar of events for the first time in 2018, with the governing body encouraging more clubs to adopt shorter formats of the game.

The event will form part of the qualifying process to find Scotland’s finalists for The R&A’s 9-Hole Championship, where winning pairs from the Home Nations will savour the chance of a lifetime to tee up at Carnoustie just days before The Open commences.

Part of the national member benefits package, the free-to-enter 9-hole Championship is open to golfers of all ages and abilities who are members of clubs possessing a designated 9-hole Standard Scratch Score (SSS). Each affiliated club meeting this criteria – of which there are almost 300 – will be invited to host a 9-hole stableford qualifying event before the end of May.

The leading pairs from each club will tee up at the National Final in June, before Scotland’s top four pairings join qualifiers from England, Ireland and Wales in front of the iconic stands at Carnoustie on Saturday 14 July.

Fraser Munro, Head of Events at Scottish Golf, said: “Nine-hole golf has long been part of the game’s fabric in Scotland but we need to do more to promote it to a wider audience and this fantastic event gives us a higher profile platform to achieve this.

“The incentive of playing at Carnoustie in the build-up to The Open is a dream come true and we would encourage as many clubs as possible to sign up and give their members a chance of taking part.”

In a further move by Scottish Golf to address pace of play concerns, ‘Ready Golf’ will be adopted at all championships from 2018. The initiative encourages players to play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering to the traditional ‘farthest from the hole plays first’ stipulation in the Rules of Golf.

Munro added: “We are committed to speeding up the game and making competitive golf more enjoyable for everyone. We acknowledge slow play continues to be a problem but believe adopting ‘Ready Golf’ is a proactive step towards addressing this issue.”

The domestic season will open with the Scottish Boys’ and Girls’ Open Stroke Play Championships taking place at Montrose and Monifieth respectively (4 – 6 April), while Royal Troon’s Portland and Old Courses will once again welcome the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play.

Scottish Golf’s flagship Women’s and Men’s Amateur Championships will be staged over Elie (5 – 9 June) and Blairgowrie (31 July – 5 August), before The King’s Course at Gleneagles hosts the Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play for the first time in late August, a week before the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland.

Elsewhere, the Scottish Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur Championships will be held at Moray’s Old and New Courses in early July, while the new look Loretto Golf Academy-sponsored Scottish Boys and Girls Under-14s events are being split into two separate championships for the first time in 2018. These will run simultaneously in Edinburgh at Murrayfield and Turnhouse, with the girls’ event also including an Under-16 category.

“Our National Championships provide a platform for players to benchmark themselves against not only the best players in this country but the many golfers travelling internationally to compete,” added Munro. “They also provide a great showcase for clubs to market them themselves to the many thousands of golfers at home and abroad who take an interest in our events.”

Scottish Golf’s full programme of club handicap events will be announced early in 2018, with the PING Scottish Mixed Championship, Revive Active Scottish Women’s Regional Medal Finals and Belhaven Captains & Secretaries Championship joining The R&A 9-hole Championship on the calendar for the year ahead.

The venue for the National 9-Hole Final in June will be confirmed early in 2018.

Further information on all of Scottish Golf’s events can be viewed on the Championships page at Entries open at the end of January.

2018 Scottish Golf National Championships

Scottish Boys’ Open Stroke Play – Montrose (4 – 6 April)
Scottish Girls’ Open Stroke Play – Monifieth (4 – 6 April)
Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play – Troon (20 – 22 April)
Scottish Women’s Amateur – Golf House Club, Elie (5 – 9 June)
Scottish Boys’ Area Team – Bothwell Castle (10 June)
Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Championship National Final – TBC (June)
Scottish Senior Men’s Open – Irvine (20 -22 June)
Scottish Senior Women’s Open – Prestwick St Nicholas (26 – 29 June)
Scottish Boys & Girls Amateur – Moray (1 – 6 July)
Scottish Boys’ Under-16 Open – Fortrose & Rosemarkie (10 – 12 July)
Scottish Men’s Amateur – Blairgowrie (31 July – 5 August)
Loretto Golf Academy Scottish Girls’ Under 14/16 – Murrayfield (13 – 14 August)
Loretto Golf Academy Scottish Boys’ Under-14 – Turnhouse (13 – 14 August)
Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play – Gleneagles King’s (27 – 29 August)
GolfKings Scottish Men’s Area Team Championship – Cawder (7 – 9 September)
Scottish Women’s County Finals – Kilmacolm (14 – 16 September)
Senior Men’s Home Internationals – Southerness (18 – 20 September)
Scottish Men’s Club Championship – Kinross (23 September)

Clubs wishing to register for the National 9-Hole Championship should visit:

Tuesday 19 December 2017


From the Scottish Golf Website

Dear Golfer  

Thank you for attending The Future of Golf Conference in Edinburgh earlier this month. 
We hope you enjoyed the presentations, discussions and the opportunity to take part in the debate around finding solutions to the challenges we face in our game. It was great to meet so many people with a passion for the game across the golfing spectrum and gain opinion, insights and feedback which will shape our future direction. 
Our Board and staff team have been working hard to collate the content from the Conference and this e-newsletter pack provides a recap for you, which we hope you will share with your fellow golfers. 
Over the coming weeks, the Board of Scottish Golf will be meeting to discuss how we use these insights to deliver our strategy of growing participation in golf and building stronger clubs. The feedback we have had has been hugely positive and we look forward to harnessing the collective power of clubs and golfers to create a brighter future for our game. 
Thank you for your continued support. 

 Eleanor Cannon, Executive Chair - Scottish Golf 

Scottish Golf have themed all the general comments, suggestions and feedback from delegates attending the Conference to give you a full overview of the opinions coming in on the day, which they will take on board in their discussions.


Monday 18 December 2017


Cardross Ladies held their Christmas Stableford on Sunday 3 December when nine ladies braved the elements and enjoyed a fun Christmas competition! The winner with a magnificent 26pts was Elizabeth Fleming.

On Tuesday 5 December, in challenging conditions yet more ladies went out in Christmas attire. The winner was Anne Barrie with 22 pts.

Mulled wine and mince pies were enjoyed by all and secret Santa left presents. Pictured are just a few of the Christmas attired ladies.

Thanks go to Lorraine Campbell for the report.

Thursday 14 December 2017


14 December 2017, St Andrews, Scotland:

An initial Great Britain and Ireland squad of 14 players has been announced by The R&A ahead of next year’s Curtis Cup match being played at Quaker Ridge, New York.
The 40th Curtis Cup match will be played from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 June 2018 with GB&I attempting to retain the historic trophy after an 11½-8½ win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland last year.
Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said, “We have identified a talented group of golfers, including three members of the winning 2016 Curtis Cup team. Each player in the squad is in contention for selection to the team and we will be monitoring their performances and results closely over the coming months.
“We will also be closely following the performances of other players not named in this squad who still have the opportunity to play their way into our thinking before the final team selection is made in April.”
Leona Maguire, who is currently the number one woman golfer in the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™, leads a group from Ireland which also includes Paula Grant, a former R&A Foundation scholar, Olivia Mehaffey, a 2016 team member, and Annabel Wilson. Maguire won the 2017 Ladies British Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig, while Mehaffey had wins at the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship and Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship in 2016.
Lily May Humphreys, who won the Girls British Open Amateur Championship at Enville earlier this year, features in a strong English contingent of eight players. Alice Hewson is in contention to make her second Curtis Cup appearance after playing in the winning GB&I side in 2016 and Sophie Lamb, who finished as leading amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns to win the Smyth Salver, is also included.
Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam and Connie Jaffrey make up the squad. A former Scottish Ladies Order of Merit winner in 2015, McWilliam finished runner-up in both the Helen Holm Championship and the Scottish Girls Open Championship this year. Jaffrey attends Kansas State University and has won three times in US collegiate golf, while also triumphing in the 2017 Scottish Ladies Amateur Championship.
The GB&I squad:
Emma Allen (20, Meon Valley, England)
Connie Jaffrey (21, Troon Ladies, Scotland)
Lianna Bailey (21, Kirby Muxloe, England)
Sophie Lamb (20, Clitheroe, England)
India Clyburn (21, Woodhall Spa, England)
Leona Maguire (23, Slieve Russell, Ireland)
Annabell Fuller (15, Roehampton, England)
Shannon McWilliam (18, Aboyne, Scotland)
Paula Grant (24, Lisburn, Ireland)
Olivia Mehaffey (20, Royal County Down Ladies, Ireland)
Alice Hewson (20, Berkhamsted, England)
Isobel Wardle (17, Prestbury, England)
Lily May Humphreys (15, Stoke by Nayland, England)
Annabel Wilson (16, Lurgan, Ireland)

The final eight player GB&I team will be announced on 26 April 2018 and will include the two golfers who are placed highest in the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ on 25 April 2018. In addition, a further six players will be selected by The R&A Women’s Selection Committee. Up to four non-travelling reserves will also be announced.

Thursday 7 December 2017


The Board of Scottish Golf is pleased to announce the date of the 2018 Scottish Golf Annual General Meeting.
The meeting will be held on Sunday 4 March 2018.
We would encourage you to save the date with confirmed venue and timings to follow early in 2018.


Wednesday 6 December 2017

Pamela Pretswell Asher would like to see more events on the Ladies European Tour

By Martin Dempster -

West of Scotland's Pamela Pretswell Asher believes the Ladies European Tour has hit its lowest ebb at a time when the circuit boasts its strongest pool of talent in the last five years.

The 2017 campaign concludes on a high note this week with the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic involving a star-studded field at the Emirates Golf Club. But the fact it is just the 14th event on the schedule shows what a tough year it has been for players like Pretswell Asher who are trying to make a living on the LET.

Five tournaments went by the wayside this year, leading to the departure of the circuit’s CEO, Ivan Khodabakhsh, in August.

During the Solheim Cup in Des Moines, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan revealed that he had instigated talks with Keith Pelley, chief executive of the men’s European Tour, to see what could be done to help the LET. However, it emerged recently that the LET has declined the offer of assistance for the time being after being encouraged by the potential for a healthier 2018 schedule. “No chance,” replied Pretswell Asher, who was on the LET committee before resigning earlier this year, to being asked if there was a possibility of as many as 24 events being on that list, which is expected to be unveiled at this week’s event in the UAE.
“I think you’d be looking at 18 events next year and, for me, that would probably be a good schedule. “I think there is genuine interest, but whether that can be put in place for 2018, who knows. Even getting a couple back would be a start. But I think it will be 2019 before we really see a difference, so patience is the key.”

Speaking at an Aberdeen Standard Investments golf clinic in Edinburgh, the Scot added: “For me, the sad thing is that talent on the LET at the moment is the strongest it has been in the last five years. That’s the thing that frustrates me the most. “We have so many good players but they don’t have anywhere to play and don’t have to go to America if you don’t want to. But, at the moment, the only option is to go to the States. Georgia Hall, for instance, has to be there to progress her game after doing remarkably well to get into the Solheim Cup team this year from so few starts on the LET.”

Pretswell Asher has been the leading Scot on the circuit for the past two years but heads into this week’s event behind Michele Thomson on this I season’s money-list after the Aberdonian finished second in last month’s Indian Open. Due to bad smog, 
Pretswell Asher withdrew from that event but, after recording a top-15 finish in the following week’s Sanya Ladies Open in China, she is looking to end her season on a high in a field that is headed by Ricoh Women’s British Open champion In-Kyung Kim. “Michele had a great week in India but, if I can have a good week in Dubai, we’ll see where it leaves me at the end of the year,” said the former Curtis Cup player, who also has US Solheim Cup duo Angel Yin and Brittany Lincicome as her rivals this week. “This is a tournament I really enjoy, it’s the best one after the Scottish Open and it is one of the biggest on the schedule.
I’ve been pretty happy with my game. I just haven’t seen the results I would have wanted, though I had a good week in China. In fact, that was the best golf I’ve played for a long time. “My aim this week is to get 
a good finish to what has 
been a frustrating season. I think next year the schedule is looking better, though I don’t think it could be much worse, to be fair. “There were various reasons I came off the committee. It [a threadbare schedule] is not ideal because, at the end of the day, it is everyone’s job. It is the same for everyone, but I’m someone who likes to get a bit of momentum. “I like to get a few tournaments to get into the season and then get a run to get some rhythm going. This year, I had a couple of good results in April yet my next tournament was July – our biggest month – and by that time I’d lost any momentum I had. “It was disappointing not being able to take advantage of having both the Scottish Open and British Open on home soil.”

Fresh from her card success at the LPGA Qualifying School, Gemma Dryburgh also lines up in the Dubai event, as do Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew, Kelsey MacDonald, Vikki Laing, Kylie Henry and Carly Booth.


Saturday 2 December 2017

By Martin Dempster (The Scotsman)

It was easily the soundbite that made the biggest impact during a four-and-a-half hour discussion about the future of golf in Scotland. “We are all on the Titanic if we choose not to do anything,” around 500 delegates were told at the first Scottish Golf national conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

When he was subsequently accused by one delegate of being responsible for “a lot of negativity” about the state of the game in its birthplace by delivering that message, Stewart Darling, a Scottish Golf board member, stuck firmly to his guns. “It’s not negativity – it’s reality,” he said in response.

Eleanor Cannon, the Scottish Golf chair, kicked off the day’s proceedings in the capital by asking a wide cross section of the game to “suspend disbelief” following recent negativity towards the governing body on the back of a controversial proposed new strategy being put on hold as some keynote speakers addressed the audience and, with all due respect to the others, it was Darling who definitely made the strongest impression in the hall.

He highlighted that Scottish clubs had been losing roughly 5,000 full members every year in the last 10 years. He warned that the consequence of not doing anything to try and address that situation was an average annual subscription of £478 rising by 34 per cent in five years’ time and to be 84 per cent higher in 10 years’ time. “That is a fairly challenging prognosis in any walk of life,” he said.

One of many illuminating graphics Darling, the CEO of Vianet Group, a strategic insight and cloud based technology business, used to get his message across highlighted golf’s demographic being its biggest problem.

Over 55s make up more than 100,000 of golf club members whereas 24 and unders provide just more than 10,000. He also pointed out that it used to take 20 rounds per year in 2007 for someone to justify their subscription fee and now it is 40.

He revealed, too, that only 47 per cent of members submit enough cards (three) to retain a handicap while just 53 per cent play in a formal competition.

Having too many courses is one of the game’s problems. “We can’t sustain 600 clubs in 10 years’ time,” he warned. Struggling to walk the line between smart and casual?

 Darling’s strongest message, though, about what needs to change more than anything was about getting more women into the game. That is based on the fact that women currently make up less than 14 per cent of membership in Scotland. “There is going to have to be a fundamental re-think,” he said. “We need to think very clearly about the future and how we get women in. It is a big opportunity if we accept this to be the case.
Some clubs are not welcoming to women and children - that is a fundamental issue. “Also, we are not connected as a golfing community and need to harness the power of that. Data is the new oil and new water. The power of it is massive for golf. At the moment, we have so little data on our game. We can have power if that changes and that is really important.”

At the moment, only 6 per cent of Scottish Golf’s income is from a commercial source. Roz Cushieri, another board member, agreed when that situation was described as “absolutely disgraceful” by a delegate. “But we need to make sure what we are offering the long list of companies we are engaging with is attractive in terms of inclusivity and other things,” she said before another delegate revealed that one company looking to invest a seven-figure sum in golf had said “no” to Scotland because it felt the game in this country wasn’t “family friendly”.

One of the proposals in that new strategy was to raise the affiliation fee paid by every club member from £11.25 of to £24. Asked if that could still be on the table at the agm in March, board member Malcolm Kpedekpo hinted it might. “This is the start of a process and, if we think £24 is the right price when we look at the strategy, then it would be wrong not to put it forward.”

Cannon, who was delighted with the success of an event that brought the most club administrators, club committee members and professionals under the same roof in Scotland, said she hoped a new chief executive to replace Blane Dodds will be in place early in the New Year. “We had a tremendous response to the advert and will be holding interviews in December but, as part of the consultation process, we thought it was maybe wise to slow things down a bit to get feedback from today,” she said. 
Read the full article in the SCOTSMAN: CLICK HERE