Wednesday, November 19, 2008

AYRSHIRE GOLF ASSOCIATION YEARBOOK - preparations under way for 6th edition

Preparations are now under way for the 6th Ayrshire Golf Association Yearbook, which should hopefully be available at the Annual Dinner at the end of February 2009.

The yearbook will again be produced by Des and Mandy Buckley of D & M Journals and will be distributed free of charge to member clubs, driving ranges and other golf outlets throughout Ayrshire.

With the Open Championship coming to Ayrshire in July, it is hoped that the distribution of the yearbooks will be even more widespread
than previously.

The production of the yearbook relies entirely on the good will of sponsors for its production, and provides an excellent medium to promote businesses throughout the county.

If any readers are intersted in promoting their own business and supporting the Ayrshire Golf Association in the production of the yearbook, through purchasing advertisng in the 2009 edition, or if any readers know of potential advertisers interested in purchasing space in the publication,
please contact Des Buckley direct on :-
Tel no - 0131 477 1026
Mobile - 07970 869293
There are advertising rates available for Quarter, third, half and full pages, as well as the outside back cover.

The Association would be delighted if any readers are able to support the 2009 yearbook through advertising.

Monday, November 17, 2008

EUROPEAN SENIORS TOUR - Drummond finishes season in 17th place

Prestwick resident Ross Drummond finished in 17th place in the 2008 PGA European Seniors Tour Order Of Merit.

Drummond, who is still awaiting his maiden seniors victory, after a few near misses, was third best placed Scot, with Sam Torrance ahead of him in 8th position and leading Scot Bill Longmuir in 5th.

Winner of the Seniors Order Of Merit this year was Ian Woosnam who took the top spot in his rookie year on the seniors tour.

BRITISH SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP - Change of format for 2009 event at Prestwick

The R & A have announced a change in format for the Seniors British Championship, to be held, for the third time in its history, at Prestwick Golf Club from 5th to 7th August 2009.

In a bid to maintain a high quality field, the handicap limit hasd been reduced to 3 and the field reduced to 144 in number.

Open to players over 55 years of age on 5th August 2009, competitors in the championship will now play 36 holes strokeplay on the Wednesday & Thursday with the field being reduced to 60 for the final days play on the Friday.

The change in format has resulted in Prestwick St. Nicholas no longer being required to be used for the opening qualifying rounds, as it was scheduled to do under the previous competition format, with all rounds now taking place over the links of the Prestwick club.

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR GOLF LEAGUE - Brown named Junior Golfer Of The Year at annual dinner

Scott Brown (Turnberry) ended a superb season on a high when he was named Ayrshire Junior Golfer Of The Year at the annual dinner and presentation of trophies of The Ayrshire Junior Golf League, held at Irvine Ravenspark on Monday 10th November.

Brown, who took both the Ayrshire Boys and Ayrshire Boys matchplay titles during the year, as well as winning the Junior Order Of merit underlined, his playing ability, committment and alround mannerly demeanour by securing the Macrobert Thistle Junior Golfer Of The Year Trophy, which was presented by David Reynolds of Fields In Trust (formerly The National Playing Fields Association).

Brown's successes this year have been recognised at his home club, and in particular by the new owners of the Turnberry resort, who have invited him to take part in the Dubai Desert Classic Pro Am in January, where he is scheduled to play alongside world number two Sergio Garcia, in recognition of his 2008 achievements.

The 2008 Junior League annual dinner, Chaired by Fleming Gibson (Caprington), attracted the usual capacity audience, with guests including the Scottish Golf Union President John Somerville and Ayrshire Golf Association President Alasdair J. Malcolm (Prestwick St. Nicholas), as well as coaching professionals and captains of local clubs who have supported The League throughout the season. Special guests also included former League player Steven McEwan (Caprington) who gained full international honours during 2008, as well as winning the Scottish Order Of merit and being runner up in the Scottish Amateur Championship, and Ian Walker who generously sponsored the Junior Order Of Merit in 2008.

Also present were a number of the Ayrshire Junior Golf League Honorary Members, including the latest recipient of the honour, Brian Farrelly (Ardeer) who was elected an Honorary Member in December 2007.

Brian Farrelly (Ardeer) receiving his Honorary Membership certificate

After an excellent meal and the ever popular raffle, which raised a considerable sum for League funds, the winners of the various competitions were presented with their trophies and awards for the season.

The presentations began with Chairman Fleming Gibson presenting his Honorary Membership certificate to Brian Farrelly, and continued with David Reynolds presenting the Macrobert Thistle Junior Golfer Of The year Trophy to Scott Brown.

Secretary Barry Somerville (Prestwick St. Cuthebrt) then called upon SGU President John Somerville to present the remaining awards to the winners.


Matt Lygate Trophy - LARGS G.C.
Andrew D. Nimmo Trophy - TROON WELBECK G.C.
Prestwick Circuits Trophy - ANDREW ABERCROMBIE (Largs)
Carrick Trophy - COLIN ROBINSON (Largs)
Silver Jubilee Trophy - BALLOCHMYLE G.C.
Ayrshire Boys Championship - SCOTT BROWN (Turnberry)
Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship - SCOTT BROWN (Turnberry)
Ayrshire Junior Order Of Merit - SCOTT BROWN (Turnberry)
Wallace Thornton Trophy - KILMARNOCK (BARASSIE) G.C.
Under 16 Knockout Trophy - CAPRINGTON G.C.
Champion Of Champions Trophy - JAMIE ACHESON (Largs Routenburn)
League Championship Semi Finalists - KILMARNOCK (BARASSIE) G.C.
League Championship Semi Finalists - PRESTWICK ST. CUTHBERT G.C.
League Championship Runners Up - WEST KILBRIDE G.C.
League Champions - LARGS G.C.

Matt Lygate Trophy winners - LARGS G.C.

Andrew D. Nimmo Trophy winners - TROON WELBECK G.G.

Carrick Trophy winner - COLIN ROBINSON (Largs)

Silver Jubilee Trophy winners -

Wallace Thornton Trophy Runners Up -

Wallace Thornton Trophy winners -

Under 16 Knockout Trophy Runners Up -

Under 16 Knockout Trophy Winners -

Champion Of Champions Runner Up -
SEAN THORBURN (Ayr Belleisle)

Champion Of Champions Winner -
JAMIE ACHESON (Largs Routenburn)

Order Of Merit - 7th - SAM FINDLATER (Troon Welbeck)

Order Of Merit - 6th - FRASER LAWRIE (West Kilbride)

Order Of merit - 4th - ANDREW WRIGHT (Kilmarnock Barassie)

Order Of Merit - 3rd - JACK McDONALD (Kilmarnock Barassie)

Order Of Merit Runner Up - SCOTT CLARK (Ayr Belleisle)

SCOTT BROWN (Turnberry) with his seasons haul of county trophies - Junior Order Of Merit, Macrobert Thistle Junior Golfer Of The Year, Ayrshire Boys Championship and Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship

League Championship Semi Finalists -

League Championship Semi Finalists -

League Championship Runners Up -

League Champions -

At the conclusion of the presentations, League Vice President Iain Mackay (West Kilbride) proposed a vote of thanks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

JUNIOR CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS - McQueen runner up in girls event at Kingsbarns

Rachael McQueen (Troon Ladies) was runner up behind Carly Booth in the Junioe Champion Of Champions event at Kingsbarns on Sunday 2nd November.

Matching par of 72, McQueen was a distant five shots behind Curtis Cup player Booth, who blew away the opposition with a stunning score of 67.

The boys' event was a tighter affair with Andy McLachlan (Bonnyton) matching Booth’s 67 to win by just two strokes from Mark Dickson (Gullane).

Ayrshire's representative in the boys event, Kyle Smith (Kilmarnock Barassie) finished in equal 12th spot on 75.


67 - Andrew McLachlan
69 - Mark Dickson
70 - Colin Baird
71 - Sam Binning
72 - Mark Bookless, Daniel Young, Kyle Godsman
73 - Paul Shields
74 - Fraser McKenna
75 - Adam Dunton, James Ross, Kyle Smith, David Law
76 - Ryan Campbell, Callum Trahan, Sam McLaren, Colin Thomson
77 - Colin Robinson, Oliver Huish.


67 - Carly Booth
72 - Rachael McQueen
76 - Kelsey MacDonald

WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY LEAGUES - Frustration for Ayrshire as counties vote to scrap 2008 competition

The Ayrshire county full and youth teams have been left frustrated by the decision of participating counties, by a 4 - 2 majority, to abandon the Inter County League matches for 2008.

The decision came after two particularly wet weekends in October led to the postponement of a number of matches.

With three wins from three, the position of the youths team is particularly unfortunate as they were defending the title won in 2007, and looked to be in an unbeatable position if they managed a win in the scheduled match this coming weekend.

Although the A team have played only two of their scheduled four games so far, they remained undefeated also, with one win and one draw.

The future of the West Of Scotland Inter County League matches will be further discussed by representatives of the participating counties at a later date.

SCOTTISH LADIES' GOLFING ASSOCIATION - Ayrshire’s Shona Malcolm nominated as SLGA Chairman

Press release from the SLGA

The Board of the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association is pleased to nominate Miss Shona Malcolm C.A. as Chairman of the Association for the three years from January 2009. The term of office of the current Chairman, Mrs Pat Wilson, expires at the Annual General Meeting in January 2009.

Currently Chairman of the SLGA’s Business Development Group and the “One Plan for Golf” steering group, and a Board member of clubgolf, the national junior golf initiative in Scotland, Shona will bring a wealth of golf knowledge and experience to the role of Chairman.

A Chartered Accountant by profession, Shona is currently working with the Ladies’ Golf Union to deliver the LGU’s Business Plan.

A native of Prestwick, the venue of the first Open Championship in 1860, Shona became involved in golf administration in the early eighties and served as Treasurer of the SLGA from 1996-2001, before taking on the role of Councillor on the Ladies’ Golf Union in 2007. She is a member of both Prestwick St. Nicholas and Prestwick St. Cuthbert Golf Clubs, and was Lady Captain of the latter in its Centenary Year, 1999.

The appointment of a Chairman for three years marks an important stage in the SLGA’s development which has, in recent years, seen the Association take on responsibility for handicapping, course rating and the running in Scotland of the former LGU medals, as well the implementation of a change in business model from being an unincorporated association to a company limited by guarantee.

Pat Wilson, the present Chairman, says
“I am delighted that Shona is to become our new three year Chairman bringing continuity to the role. Shona brings not only tremendous experience of golfing administration having been Treasurer of the SLGA and an LGU Councillor, but also vast business knowledge from her professional role as a C.A.”

Shona says

“I am very pleased to have been nominated as Chairman of the SLGA at these exciting and challenging times for ladies’ golf. The SLGA has a responsibility to protect and promote the interests of ladies’ golf in Scotland, celebrating the golfing legacies and traditions while encouraging more people to take up the sport.

I genuinely believe that golf should be accessible to anyone, of either gender, who wants to play, and look forward to working in partnership under “One Plan for Golf” with our colleagues at the Scottish Golf Union and the PGA to achieve this goal.

I look forward to contributing to the ongoing modernisation initiatives, and to meeting and consulting with many of the SLGA’s members in the coming months and years.”

Founded in 1904 and incorporated in 2006, The Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association is the governing body for ladies’ and girls’ amateur golf in Scotland.

Monday, November 03, 2008

TURNBERRY HOTEL CLOSED FROM SUNDAY - £30million refurbishment ahead of 2009 Open Championship

Turnberry Hotel in South Ayrshire closed its doors on Sunday for a major refit, ahead of the Open Championship, which will be staged there in July 2009.


Leisurecorp, the Dubai World investment company focused on the sports and leisure sector, has taken ownership of its latest acquisition, the Turnberry Resort in south Ayrshire.
First announced in May, the £55 million deal sees Turnberry transferred from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) to Leisurecorp.
Starwood has entered a 50-year management agreement with Leisurecorp to manage the hotel and after extensive restoration, the property will become a member of its Luxury Collection portfolio.
From today the hotel will close for a £30 million refurbishment ahead of the 138th Open Championship in July 2009.
Internationally-renowned interior designer Mary Fox Linton has been appointed to lead the refurbishment which will see the 101-year hotel restored to the original vision of the original architect, James Miller.
Working in conjunction with a heritage consultant, the refurbishment will ensure that the building’s heritage is maintained while delivering beautifully-designed stylish hotel rooms and facilities.
Alan Rogers, Group CEO, Leisurecorp, said: “Turnberry is a significant addition to our property portfolio and we take seriously our responsibility to restoring the hotel and facilities to its former glory. When the eyes of the world fall upon Turnberry next summer, we are determined that the venue will stand tall with pride, taking its rightful place as one of the top golf courses in the world.
"At Leisurecorp, we have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the world’s best performers in their fields, from sporting superstars to designers and architects. Since we announced the deal with Starwood in May we have been working hard on the development plans and are delighted with Mary Fox Linton’s appointment and her vision for Turnberry.
“Next week Shanghai kicks off the inaugural Race to Dubai and arguably one of the most exciting seasons in The European Tour’s history. For Leisurecorp, this will see three of our golf courses rise to the occasion with the South African Open at Pearl Valley Golf Estates, the Open Championship at Turnberry, and the Dubai World Championship to climax the season at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
"We are certain that each of these tournaments will prove our passion and commitment to the golf world.”
Mary Fox Linton has an impressive list of historic hotels to her name, including One Aldwych, London; The Dorchester Hotel, London; The Athenaeum, London; The Grove, Chandler’s Cross; and Carlisle Bay Antigua.
Mary Fox Linton said: “The chance to restore this hotel to its former glory is a wonderful opportunity and I feel so passionate about it. When you arrive, you can’t help but smile. The interiors of the hotel will be brought back to their original grandeur with a contemporary interpretation of James Miller’s original vision for the hotel.
"I have tried to look at the hotel through the eyes of Miller and interpret what I think he would have envisioned for the hotel, maximising open spaces, comfort and of course the very best of quality.”

Sunday, November 02, 2008

WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY LEAGUES - Three in a row for youths whilst senior team draw

Ayrshire were back in action this week as the West Of Scotland Inter County Leagues recommenced after a weather enforced week off.

In the latest round of matches, Ayrshire faced Renfrewshire, with the full team playing at Largs whilst the youths travelled to Elderslie.

Playing against the county which Ayrshire narrowly defeated last month in the Area Team Championship final, the match at Largs was likely to be a close one, and so it proved.

Sharing the spoils in the opening matches, Ayrshire looked up against it with a middle order collaps, which saw them 5 - 2 behind, before the team rallied for a good half match by winning the last three ties.

Match details (Ayrshire names first)

Steven McEwan (Caprington) halved with Craig Watson
Steven Spence (Irvine) lost to Ronnie Clark 3/2
John Cairney (Irvine Ravenspark) beat Murdo Carmichael 5/4
Brian Moore (Largs) halved with Nicky Gold
Jamie Mackay (Kilmarnock Barassie) lost to David Walker 4/3
Gareth Lamb (Irvine) lost to Steven Higgins 2/1
Steven Barr (Irvine Ravenspark) lost to Scott Ferguson 4/3
Gary Bryden (Turnberry) beat Scott McGrenaghan 5/4
Michael Smyth (Royal Troon) beat Michael Campbell 4/2
Paul Robinson (Largs) beat David McFarlane 1 up


In the youths match at Elderslie, Ayrshire got off to a poor start with 5 balls lost out of bounds on the first. The games soon settled down.

Ayrshire lost the first tie heavily, and after Scott Brown's opponent holed from off the green at the last, Ayrshire went 2 - 0 behind.

Ayrshire battled on and a series of wins left Rory Acheson securing the match by 5.5 - 4.5 with a two hole win in the final tie on the course.

Match details (Ayrshire names first)

Kyle Smith (Kilmanrock Barassie)lost to Michael Daily 5 & 4
Scott Brown (Turnberry) lost to Ricardo Rebecchi 2 up
Craig McLaughlin (Largs) beat Calum Morrison 1 up
Scott Clark (Ayr Belleisle) halved with Darren Grant
Fraser Lawrie (West Kilbride) lost to Johnny Caldwell 2 up
Andrew Wright (Kilmarnock Barassie) beat Jack Bradley 5 & 4
Stewart Henderson (Kilmanrock Barassie) beat Alistair Lauder 2 & 1
Jamie Acheson (Largs Routenburn) lost to Alex Ferguson 3 & 2
Rory Acheson (Largs Routenburn) beat Jordan Grant 2 up
Graeme Gimson (Prestwick St. Cuthbert) beat Alan Ferguson 6 & 5


In next weeks scheduled matches, against Stirlingshire, the full team travel to Stirling whilst the youths entertain their opponents at Brunston Castle.