Friday, 15 January 2021

Kilmacolm line up former Scottish Women's champion Megan Briggs as club captain

Megan in 2009 with the Scottish Amateur Championship Trophy 
 at Kilmacolm Golf Club 

By Martin Dempster 
The Scotsman Newspaper - 15th January 2021

Former Scottish Women’s Amateur champion Megan Briggs is set to become just the second lady captain of Kilmacolm in the Renfrewshire club’s 130-year history.

Briggs, who landed her national title triumph at Southerness in 2009, was recently appointed by Rene Kleyweg as his vice-captain and will take over the main post in 2022.

The Glasgow solicitor will join Jane Macdonald, who held the position in 2016, as the club’s only lady captains, with Romy Erskine, a Scottish Girls’ international, also set to take up the junior captaincy next year.

“I see Megan embodying how we want to be seen,” said Kleyweg. “Here we have a professional in her early 30s as captain of our club. Inclusive, progressive, friendly.

“We want to help people see golf as a game for all ages and that for clubs like Kilmacolm it is more about leggings on the golf course than blazers in the clubhouse.”

Briggs will follow in the footsteps of Andrew Farmer, a former Scottish international who won both the British and Scottish Mid-Amateur Championships, in taking up the role

“I think she will help build on the ‘one club’ message that Andrew focussed on in 2019 and that I hope I will maintain this year,” added Kleyweg. “More mixed medals on a Saturday, previous men’s competitions opening up to all, captain and pro in the evenings but also the mornings to encourage all ages and genders to play etc.

“Just having more and more ladies playing on a Saturday morning and being comfortable doing so. It is also great to see honorary members putting time and effort into the club.”

In addition to Briggs - her sister Eilidh, a former Scottish Girls’ champion and Curtis Cup player, too - and Farmer, current Scotland men’s captain Matt Clark has also done his bit in flying the Kilmacolm flag on the amateur circuit.

“Matt put time in a few years ago as greens convenor and Megan now,” said Kleyweg. "Maybe this, in turn, will help encourage clubs to promote what their elite players are up to, something which members have previously taken pride in and enjoyed following.”

Though out of use at the moment due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the club recently opened a two-bay indoor studio, which has replaced the old dining room.

It is hoped the imminent launch of a new £150 Ladies’ Academy, with a three-month membership, which includes a half set of clubs and a fortnightly clinic with the club’s new professional, Stuart Roberts, will help boost an already healthy ladies’ section.

“Like many clubs, we have seen a jump in our membership, but what is amazing is how this has continued since the end of the normal playing season,” said Kleyweg.

“What we need to do post-Covid is broaden the audience for the studio. The studio may not appeal to all members, but it has already helped bring in new members.”

The club also recently announced the appointment of James McMurdo as the new head greenkeeper. He was at Prestwick for 20 years and had risen to No 2 there when he left to go down south to Tadmarton Heath in Oxfordshire.Also returning north of the border to be his right-hand man is Johnny Caldwell, a Greenock boy who is heading home from The Wisley in Surrey.