Friday, November 29, 2013

AYRSHIRE GOLF ASSOCIATION - Subscription and competition entry forms sent to clubs

The annual subscription forms and entry forms to various competitions were sent by email to all member clubs on 17th November.

The annual per capita subscription was frozen at £2.20 again this year, and subscriptions fall due for payment on 1st January 2014. Payment can be made again this year by cheque or by BACS.

Any club that anticipate problems paying the subscription by the due date are asked to contact the Secretary as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements.

The Association reserve the right to reject entries for all county competitions from clubs who have not paid the subscription by the due date or made contact with the Secretary to make alternative payment arrangements.

Also forwarded to the Club Secretaries on the same date were the entry forms for the undernoted extended Ayrshire Golf Association competitions:-

The Champion Of Champions Trophy

The Ayrshire Fourball Championship

The Ayrshire Scratch Summer Leagues

Any club Secretary who has not yet received these forms are asked to contact the Association Secretary as soon as possible, to arrange for copies to be forwarded.

SCOTTISH GOLF UNION SEMINAR & AGM - Individual clubs invited to attend

For the first time, the SGU and its 16 Area Associations wish to invite affiliated clubs to attend the annual SGU conference, being staged on the weekend of 25 – 26 January 2014 at the Stirling Management Centre on the University of Stirling campus.

(SGU press release)

The conference event, incorporating the SGU AGM, provides an excellent networking opportunity for clubs and the platform to work and learn together as we consider some of the key issues facing Scottish golf.

The opening day, Saturday 25 January, runs from 10.30am to 5.30pm and will feature interactive sessions and case studies exploring best practice in golf clubs, as well as a key note speech from Troed Troedson, a renowned expert on understanding consumer behaviour, who will provide an invaluable insight to clubs on this subject.

This will be followed in the evening by a Conference Dinner, commencing at 7.00pm, giving attendees the opportunity to meet socially, continue the discussions from the day while enjoying excellent food in the company of our after-dinner speaker.

The Sunday session will take place between 9.30am and 1.00pm, with the focus on working better together, while the SGU will report on its activities for the year. This session will conclude with the SGU AGM before lunch is served at 1.00pm.

Your club is invited to send up to two delegates to attend the full conference, or any of the individual sessions as detailed below together with the prices. Should demand exceed availability, places will be allocated to clubs on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Saturday 25 January – Day £27.00 per person
  • Saturday 25 January – Dinner £22.00 per person
  • Sunday 26 January – Day £22.00 per person
*All prices are inclusive of VAT and charged at cost.

Bookings must be made no later than Friday 10 January 2014 to allow the SGU to finalise numbers with the venue. Further details are available via the SGU website at

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

RULES OF GOLF CHANGES - R & A announce new decisions from January 2014

From the Bunkered magazine website

The Rules of Golf have changed – and armchair golf fans will not be happy.

Golf’s ruling bodies, the R&A and the USGA, have announced revisions to the Rules of Golf, becoming effective in January 2014.
The biggest change relates to the debate about armchair viewers who use “enhanced technological evidence” such as HDTV to determine whether a golf ball has moved or not. Now, armchair fans will not be able to influence the outcome of such a potential rules breach.
It is important to consider carefully new developments in the game – The R&A’s David Rickman on the new rules change
This is what the R&A said about the new rule:
* New Decision 18/4 provides that, where enhanced technological evidence (e.g. HDTV, digital recording or online visual media, etc.) shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time. The R&A and the USGA have issued a Joint Statement on the Use of Video and other Visual Evidence to further explain the governing bodies’ position on the use of this technology.

“Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015” contains more than 1,200 entries addressing specific situations under the Rules of Golf. A total of 87 changes have been made to the 2012-2013 Decisions book: three new Decisions, 59 revised Decisions, one re-numbered Decision and 24 Decisions withdrawn.

“The Rules of Golf are constantly evolving,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf. “The Decisions review process is an opportunity for The R&A and the USGA to continue to help make the game more understandable and accessible for players, officials and others who participate in the game.”

David Rickman, The R&A’s Executive Director – Rules and Equipment Standards, said: “It is important to consider carefully new developments in the game and that is reflected in the new Decisions on the Rules which give greater clarity on the use of smart phones and advanced video technology.”

Rules of Golf updated

Here’s three other new rules from the announcement:
* New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports on weather conditions on a smartphone during a round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision also clarifies that players are permitted to access information on the threat of an impending storm in order to protect their own safety.

* Revised Decision 25-2/0.5 helps to clarify when a golf ball is considered to be embedded in the ground through the use of illustrations.

* Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 allows a player to go forward up to approximately 50 yards without forfeiting his or her right to go back and play a provisional ball.

Read more:

Monday, November 18, 2013

AYRSHIRE LADIES GOLF ASSOCIATION AGM - Sheila Adams elected County Captain

The AGM and Prizegiving of the Ayrshire Ladies County Golf Association  was held at West Kilbride Golf Club on Tuesday 12th November, with Sheila Adams (Loudoun) taking over from Sandy Streets (Largs) as the new Captain.
Liz Keohone (Loudoun) was appointed as the new Vice Captain.
Other officials who were re elected includes Honorary Treasurer Jill West and Junior Secretary June Kerr as Junior Secretary, along with Committee members Jenny Linklater & Lesley Barker.

Newly elected officials included President Nora McCrossin, Honorary Secretary Ann Wallace and Committee members Kath McKellar & Eleanor Watson

Prizewinners from the 2013 season were :-

Jenny McGee & Kath MacKellar ( Skelmorlie)
Silver winner - Audrey Thompson(Loudoun )
Bronze winner - Eleanor Watson (Prestwick St Nicholas)

Audrey Thompson(Loudoun)

Scratch - Winner Liz Keohone (Loudoun), 2nd Sheila Adams (Loudoun )
Handicap - 1st Sylvia Muir (LGC Troon), 2nd Margaret MacGregor (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Trophy winner - Sylvia Muir

Silver - Sheila Adams (Loudoun)
Bronze - Margaret White(Prestwick St Nicholas)

Silver - Linzi Allan ( Largs)
Bronze - Janette Stewart ( Kilmarnock Barassie)

Anne Grant (Prestwick St Nicholas)

Liz Keohone(Loudoun )

Liz Keohone(Loudoun)

Connie Jaffrey (LGC Troon)

MRS Q M MCCALL SALVER (Championship Runner Up)
Audrey Thompson (Loudoun)

Emma Hale (LGC Troon)
Fixtures and events for 2014 are :-
25 March - Simply Suppers (Cookery Demonstration) - Tickets from Committee members (£5)

8 – 10 April - County Championship (Glasgow Gailes)

4 May - West of Scotland Championship (Windyhill)

11 May - Innes McQueen Trophy match Vs AGA (TBC)

13 May - County Foursomes (Ayr Belleisle)

6 – 8 June - West Area County Championship (Haggs Castle)

9 June - June Quaich (Dundonald Links)
23 June - Kennedy Salver (Juniors) (Hamilton)
14 July - Summer Meeting (Cathcart Castle)
12 August - Coronation medals (Girvan)
9 September - Thistle Brooches (Kilmarnock Barassie)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CHAMPION’S MEMORY KEPT ALIVE BY PGA - Hunter headstone restored in recognition of achievements


John Hunter
 A gravestone belonging to the first Scottish PGA Champion John Hunter has been restored after the PGA stepped in to ensure his memory was honoured.

The restored headstone

South Ayrshire Council had ordered the headstone of the 1907 winner to be removed from the Prestwick cemetery when it was deemed unsafe in 2011.

But following extensive restoration work the stone is now back in place as a fitting tribute to a golfer whose father, Charlie, was a contemporary of Old Tom Morris – arguably the most famous name in Scottish golf.

Hunter was one of the four sons of the famous Prestwick professional Charlie, who was one of the eight competitors in the first Open Championship in 1860.

Hunter junior also played in The Open a number of times, his best finish being a sixth place in the 1898 Open at Prestwick.

He won the first Scottish Professional Championship at Panmure Barry in 1907 with a score of 304 over four rounds, which included a record round of 71 in the third round.

Like two of his brothers, David, who enjoyed a 29-year tenure at Essex County Country Club in New Jersey, and William, John emigrated to live in America but returned after a short period to Prestwick and went into business with his father, producing clubs stamped C&J Hunter.

The significance of the grave only came to light 10 years ago when Prestwick golf historian Alasdair Malcolm was undertaking research in the library and stumbled across an article from 1907 on Hunter’s Scottish PGA triumph and put two and two together in terms of identifying the grave.

Subsequently when the council ordered the headstone to be taken down, Malcolm contacted The PGA in Scotland secretary, Brian Mair to see if The PGA could assist in restoring it.

“I just thought it was a little sad that somebody who had been quite a force in Scottish golf in his time and an accomplished golfer should not be remembered in a more fitting way so asked Brian if there was anything the PGA could do to help restore the gravestone,” said Malcolm.

“What brought it to my mind was seeing an article about Arnaud Massy, the first foreigner to win an Open, whose grave was discovered in a neglected graveyard in Edinburgh when he had previously been thought to have been buried in France.”

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones commented: “When Alasdair Malcolm alerted us to the plight of the gravestone we were more than happy to honour the memory of one of the PGA’s pioneering pros by restoring the stone work.
“John Hunter was part of a great Scottish tradition of PGA Professionals that helped shape golf around the world including America where he lived for a while along with two of his brothers.

“As the world’s oldest Professional Golfers’ Association the PGA is proud of its heritage and those early pros like John Hunter who set the benchmarks to which we still aspire to this day.”

Friday, November 08, 2013

AYRSHIRE'S GOLFING V.C.'S - The story behind the names

In November each year, thoughts turn to Remembrance and the annual ceremonies held at war memorials throughout the country.

Many golf clubs in Ayrshire have memorials within their clubhouses, listing the fellow members who fell in The Great War of 1914 - 1918 and the subsequent Second World War conflict of 1939 - 1945. 

To some members, the memorials will go unnoticed, others will glance at the memorials on occasions, perhaps wondering about the names listed there, whilst others will remember those commemorated as relatives or perhaps, even still, as comrades in arms and fellow competitors in club competitions long gone.

With an interest in all things history, I often study war memorials when visiting clubhouses both in Ayrshire and beyond, and in recent visits, it was interesting to note that two of our local clubs have listed, amongst their fallen members from The Great War, recipients of the highest of British gallantry awards, The Victoria Cross.

There may be others listed on other club war memorials, and I would be grateful to hear of any other V.C winners listed on Ayrshire golf club memorials, but, in this week of Remembrance, it may be of interest for readers to learn a little more on the two Ayrshire golfing V.C.'s I happened upon.

Captain Harry S. Ranken
The first V.C recipient I happened upon is listed on the Irvine GC war memorial, in the main hallway of the Bogside clubhouse.

Described as a scratch golfer who represented his university in matches and won many trophies, Captain Harry S. Ranken was serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps when he died on 25th September 1914 at the age of 31. He lies buried in Braine Communal Cemetery in France.

Henry (Harry) Sherwood Ranken was born on 3rd September 1883 the son of a local minister.#

He first enrolled at the University of Glasgow in summer 1900 and over the course of his studies he won eight prizes.

These included three surgery prizes and later he received his MB ChB degrees in July 1905. In 1910 he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London.

Braine Communal Cemetery
Before entering military service, Captain Ranken co wrote a number of medical articles and held posts at Glasgow's Western Infirmary and at the Brook Fever Hospital in London.
He joined the Army in 1909, being promoted to Captain in 1912. When war broke out, he volunteered for active service and became the Regimental Medical Officer for the 1st Kings Royal Rifle Corps with the British Expeditionary Force. For gallant conduct under fire in France between 21st and 30th August 1914 he was awarded the Croix de Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour and was mentioned in despatches.

On 19th and 20th September 1914 at Haute-Avesnes, France, Captain Ranken was severely wounded in the leg whilst attending to his duties on the battlefield under shrapnel and rifle fire. He stopped the bleeding and bound it up, then continued to dress the wounds of his men, sacrificing his own chance of survival to their needs. When he finally permitted himself to be carried to the rear at Braine, his wounds were too severe and he died on 25th September.
For this act of heroism he was awarded the Victoria Cross which is now held at the Army Medical Services Museum in Aldershot. 
The Times History of War states that ' No man ever won the Victoria Cross more nobily than did Captain Harry Ranken RAMC'.

In 1924, his parents founded a University of Glasgow prize in his memory. It is still awarded annually to the candidate who obtains the highest number of marks in the professional examinations in Pathology.
The second V.C. recipient I came across recently is listed on the war memorial at Prestwick Golf Club, which members and guests pass on a daily basis when entering the main room of the clubhouse.
W. Herbert Anderson V.C.
Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Anderson of The Highland Light Infantry died on 25th March 1918 at the age of 36. He lies buried in Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt in France.
Herbert Anderson hailed from Largo in Fife and was a son of W.J. Anderson C.B.E and Nora Anderson of Strathairly, largo, and husband of Mrs Gertrude Campbell Anderson.
The action which lead to his death, and posthumous award of the Victoria Cross, is well documented.
After three days of very heavy fighting, by the night of the 24th March 1918, the enemy had reached a line stretching from the village of Longueval, near Delville Wood to a point on the eastern side of Curlu on the River Somme. The 51st Brigade to the left were having a hard time finding sufficient numbers of men to fill a one and half mile gap which had opened up between V Corps and VII Corps. The VII Corps therefore supplied men of the 1st Dismounted Brigade to help form a defensive flank but even then the gap was not adequately plugged and Germans could be seen streaming past into Mametz Wood.


The Citation from the London Gazzette of 3rd may 1918, describes the actions of Anderson that earned the ultimate bravery award.


Bois Favieres, France, , 25 March 1918, Temporary Major ( A / Lieutenant Colonel ) William Herbert Anderson, comd 12th (S) Bn, Highland Light Infantry.
For most conspicuous bravery, determination, and gallant leading of his command. ( Bois Favieres near Maricourt, France ) The enemy attacked on the right of the battalion frontage, and succeeded in penetrating the wood held by our men. Owing to successive lines of the enemy following on closely there was the greatest danger that the flank of the whole position would be turned.

Grasping the seriousness of the situation, Colonel Anderson made his way across the open in full view of the enemy now holding the wood on the right, and after much effort succeeded in gathering the remainder of the two right companies. He personally led the counter-attack and drove the enemy from the wood, capturing twelve machine guns and seventy prisoners, and restoring the original line.
His conduct in leading the charge was quite fearless and his most splendid example was the means of rallying and inspiring the men during a most critical hour.
Perronne Road Cemetery
Later on the same day, in another position, the enemy had penetrated to within three hundred yards of the village and were holding a timber-yard in force. Colonel Anderson reorganised his men after they had been driven in and brought them forward to a position of readiness for a counter-attack. He led the attack in person and throughout showed the utmost disregard for his own safety. The counter-attack drove the enemy from his position, but resulted in this very gallant officer losing his life. He died fighting within the enemy’s lines, setting a magnificent example to all who were privileged to serve under him.
Anderson's body was found where he had fallen, together with some of his effects, which were sent home to his wife. He was buried in Peronne Road Cemetery, near Albert.
The Victoria Cross, less the campaign medals, earned by Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Anderson, has been loaned to the Imperial War Museum in London.
The Glasgow Cathedral
to the Anderson brothers

Herbert Anderson was one of four brothers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in The Great War. Two of his brothers, Second Lieutenant Alexander Ronald Anderson (d. 1915 - aged 31) and Captain Charles Hamilton Anderson (d. 1914), both also of the Highland Light Infantry, are also commemorated on the Prestwick GC war memorial.

When Anderson's father was elected Captain of Prestwick GC in 1918, sympathy was extended to him by the members at the AGM for the grievous loss he had suffered during the war.

There is also a memorial to all four brothers in Glasgow Cathederal, which includes the younger brother, Captain Edward Kerr Anderson of the 5th Btn, Highland Light Infantry, who was attached to the Royal Flying Corps when he was killed in 1918 aged 21. 

A novel, The Way Home, was published in 2007 about Anderson and his three brothers who were also killed in the First World War. It was written by Robin Scott-Elliot, Anderson's great-grandson.

Alasdair J Malcolm


AYRSHIRE JUNIOR GOLF LEAGUE DINNER - capacity audience see Easton and Jaffrey take Player Of The Year awards

A capacity audience attended the 45th annual Ayrshire Junior Golf League dinner and  presentation of prizes, at Irvine Golf Club, on Monday 4th November 2013.

Junior Golfers Of The Year - Stuart Easton & Connie Jaffrey

With top table guests including SGU Past President Maurice Shields, Ayrshire Ladies County Golf Association Honorary President Nancy Chisholm and Ayrshire Golf Association President Milton Murray, the unique event was chaired by AJGL Chairman Bob Cameron of Ayr Belleisle GC.

After an excellent meal and entertaining raffle which raised a good total towards AJGL funds, the winners of the seasons titles were honoured by the assembled company.

Matt Lygate Trophy - Kilmarnock (Barassie)
The presentation of prizes, hosted by AJGL Assistant Secretary Billy Tait, began in the traditional manner with David Reynolds of the charity Fields In Trust, formerly The National Playing Fields Association, presenting the Macrobert Thistle Junior Golfer Of The Year Trophy.

Whilst the boys award was first given 25 years ago, 2013 marked the first award for girls in Ayrshire, with a new trophy of the same design as the boys trophy being presented for the first time.

A D Nimmo Trophy - Ballochmyle
Opening with the girls award, David Reynolds paid tribute to the 2013 recipient, Connie Jaffrey (Troon ladies) and her achievements during the year  which included winning the Scottish Girls Championship and the Scottish Girls Order Of Merit as well as being selected to play in the home international at both girls and full international levels.

The winner of the boys award for 2013 was announced as Stuart Easton (Irvine GC) who listed the West Of Scotland Boys Matchplay Championship and selection for the Boys Home Internationals amongst his achievements during the season.

Other recipients of awards during the evening included :-

Prestwick Circuits Trophy
Callum Gorrie
Matt Lygate Trophy (Ayrshire Boys Team Champions) - KILMARNOCK (BARASSIE) GC

Andrew D Nimmo Trophy (Handicap Team Champions) - BALLOCHMYLE GC

Prestwick Circuits Trophy - CALLUM GORRIE (Kilmarnock Barassie GC)

Carrick Trophy - ROBERT CLARK (Ballochmyle)

Carrick Trophy
Robet Clark
Silver Jubilee Trophy - AYRSHIRE GOLF ASSOCIATION (James McMurdo & Milton Murray)

Ayrshire Boys Championship - LOUIS MURRAY (Troon Welbeck)

Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship - LOUIS MURRAY (Troon Welbeck)

Junior Order Of Merit - Connor McKay

Ayrshire Junior Order Of Merit
3rd - MURRAY McCRONE (Troon Welbeck)
2nd - SEAN COOK (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Winner - CONNOR McKAY (Loudoun)

Wallace Thornton Trophy - Kilmarnock Barassie

Wallace Thornton Trophy
Runners |Up - IRVINE GC

Under 16 Knockout Trophy - Loudoun
Under 16 Knockout Trophy
Winners - LOUDOUN GC

Champion Of Champions
Murray McCrone

The penultimate trophy awarded was the Champion Of Champions Trophy.

The 2013 runner up was AIDAN DORE (Loudoun), whilst MURRAY McCRONE (Troon Welbeck) created history in 2013 by becoming the youngest ever winner of the trophy in its 34 year history.

The final trophy presented was the Ayrshire Junior Golf league Championship award. The 2013 runners up were WEST KILBRIDE GC whilst the winners this year, TROON WELBECK GC took the title for only the third time, ending a 29 year wait since their last success in the competition.

League Champions - Troon Welbeck

At the conclusion of a very enjoyable evening, AJGL Secretary John Nordbo proposed a vote of thanks to all those who had contributed to the success of the event.