Thursday, December 08, 2016

BALL ACCIDENTALLY MOVED ON THE PUTTING GREEN - New Local Rule available for use from January 2017

The R&A and the USGA today announced the introduction of a new Local Rule to the Rules of Golf that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green.

The Local Rule will be available for any committee in charge of a golf competition to use starting 1 January 2017. It will be adopted by The R&A and the USGA in all of their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.

David Rickman, Executive Director - Governance at The R&A, said, “For the past several years, as part of The R&A and USGA’s Rules Modernisation initiative, we have considered the penalty for a ball that is accidentally moved on the putting green.

“Both Rules Committees agreed that it needed to be changed and decided that in this particular case it was important to act now, through a Local Rule, rather than wait for the next overall set of revisions to the Rules of Golf.”

Thomas Pagel, Senior Director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status at the USGA, said, “Eliminating this penalty responds to the concerns we have heard from both golfers and committees about the difficulties in applying the current Rules when a player accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green.

“This change is a good example of the type of Rules Modernisation changes we hope to implement after completing our fundamental review of all of the Rules. We are looking for ways to improve the Rules by making them easier to understand and apply.”

Use of Local Rule
The Local Rule has been welcomed by all of the major golf Tours worldwide, and the PGA TOUR, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and the Masters Tournament are among the golf organisations that will implement the Local Rule for all future events, beginning 1 January 2017.

An infographic is also available to illustrate how the new Local Rule should be used. If a Committee wishes to introduce this Local Rule, the following wording is recommended:

“Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:

When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced."

The Local Rule and a detailed Q&A is also available to download.

Friday, December 02, 2016

DOON VALLEY COURSE UNDER THREAT - Is the Patna course to close in the new year ?

News from Doon Valley Golf Club this week causes grave concern over the future of the Doon Valley golf course in Patna, with indications being given by the club that the course has been earmarked for closure by 31st March next year.

The course, owned and maintained by the local authority, East Ayrshire Council, is the home of the Doon Valley Golf Club which provides a significant facility for local golfers in the dalmellington and Patna areas.
The club itself has enjoyed success in county events over the years, winning the Ayrshire Fourball Championship in 1997 and Division 5 of the Ayrshire Scratch leagues in 2013.
The club has also produced a number of fine golfers over the years, including the present Match Secretary John Sloan, who won the Ayrshire Champion Of Champions Trophy final over Royal Troon in August and local girl Pamela Feggans who followed a fine amateur career by progressing to the professional ranks as both a tour player and coach.
According to information posted by the club on social media, the news broke in the past week about the closure of the Golf Course on March 31st 2017, with no more golf allowed from that date.
According to the statement from the club, the club itself have not been informed by the local authority of the closure of the course, although it is understood that the green keeping staff were informed of the decision on Thursday 24th November.
The club are questioning why the club committee were not informed first and indeed have apparently still not been informed by East Ayrshire Council as to the current position.
The club social media release indicate that since the news broke last week the club have contacted the local authority on numerous occasions but still await reply. 
The statement goes on,
"This is a major talking point for the club as we still don't know what is actually happening to the club and still we await reply. Why?
The way East Ayrshire Council has treated this club in the last few years has been nothing short of ridiculous."
Golf facilities in East Ayrshire have seen a number of changes in recent years, with the most significant to date being the transfer of the local authority run Caprington course to full management by the Caprington Community Golf Club. For the Doon Valley club and course however, the timescale alluded to for the closure leaves little time for interested parties to consider the way forward for the club and course.
The loss of the Doon Valley course would be a major blow to exponents of the game in the Doon Valley and surrounding area, as well as the Ayrshire golf scene as a whole.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR GOLF LEAGUE ANNUAL DINNER - Junior Golfer Of The year awards go to Louise Duncan & Jack Broun

Louise Duncan with David Reynolds
Louise Duncan (West Kilbride) and Jack Broun (Ayr Belleisle) were awarded the Macrobert Thistle Junior Golfer Of The Year trophies for 2016, at the Annual Dinner & Presentation Of Prizes of the Ayrshire Junior Golf League held at Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club on the evening of Monday 7th November.

Junior Boy Golfer Of The Year Jack Broun

The presentation of the boys and girls trophies were made by David Reynolds of the charity Fields In Trust, formerly The National Playing Fields Association, who originally donated both trophies.

Both Louise Duncan and Jack Broun had outstanding seasons in 2016, culminating in both players receiving recognition at national level as members of the respective girls and boys national under 18 teams.

The annual dinner, chaired by Graeme Hope of the host club, saw representatives and junior golfers of many of the Ayrshire Junior Golf League member clubs come together to honour all the winners of junior competitions throughout the season past.

Following a fine meal and fundraising raffle, the presentation of the two Junior Golfer Of The Year awards by David Reynolds was the traditional start of the presentation of the awards for the year, with the remaining trophies being handed over to the winning team representatives and individuals by the Ayrshire Golf Association President John Rushbury.

The seasons prize winners who were presented with their awards during the evening were:-

The presentation of the competition trophies began with the four awards played for at the Ayrshire Boys Team Championship competition at Irvine Ravenspark in April 2016.

Robbie Muir Accepts The Matt Lygate Trophy
On Behalf Of Kilmarnock (Barassie)

THE MATT LYGATE TROPHY - The scratch team trophy was won  for the thirteenth time by the defending champions Kilmarnock (Barassie) GC

Euan Ferguson Lifts The Andrew D Nimmo Trophy
For Turnberry

THE ANDREW D NIMMO TROPHY - The handicap team trophy was won for the second time by Turnberry GC, following their first success in the event some 15 years previously.

Lewis MacMillan
With The Carrick Trophy

THE PRESTWICK CIRCUITS TROPHY - The individual scratch award winner, with a 2 over par score of 73 in cold blustery conditions on the day was Lewis Caddell (Kilmarnock Barassie GC)

THE CARRICK TROPHY - For the best net return on the day was Lewis MacMillan (Ballochmyle GC) with a level par score of 71


Martin Spence of Loudoun
With The Silver Jubilee Trophy

Played for by the junior conveners of member clubs each year, the 2016 competition, held at Kilmarnock (Barassie), was won by Martin Spence & Scott Robertson of Loudoun GC

Ayrshire Boys Champion
Jack Broun


The 64th Ayrshire Boys Championship was played at Loudoun, and the winner was Jack Broun (Ayr Belleisle GC) who had an exceptional two round total of 137, with rounds of 68 & 69, to win by a clear margin of 11 shots.


Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Champion
Euan Ferguson

Played each year over the links at Prestwick GC, the 2016 final saw Euan Ferguson (Turnberry GC) win the final by 3 & 2 against his clubmate Kyle Brown.

THE AYRSHIRE JUNIOR ORDER OF MERIT encompasses nineteen local, national and international events, with points being awarded to highly placed finishers in each counting competition.

Third In The Order Of Merit
Robbie Muir

In 3rd place in 2016 was Robbie Muir (Kilmarnock Barassie GC) who amassed 204.17 points from 4 counting events, including runner up spots at the Ayr Belleisle and Tom Lehman junior opens.

Order Of |Merit Runner Up
Ruben Lindsay

In 2nd place in the 2016 Order Of Merit was Ruben Lindsay (Ayr Belleisle GC) who collected 242.5 points, again from only four events, including a first place at the Loudoun Junior Open and runner up spots at both Largs and Turnberry.

Order Of Merit Winner
Jack Broun

The winner of the 2016 Ayrshire Junior Order Of merit was Jack Broun (Ayr Belleisle GC) who stormed to the title with a points total of 685 which included first place finishes at The Ayrshire Boys Championship as well as the Ayr Belleisle, Prestwick St Cuthbert, Prestwick St Nicholas and Tom Lehman junior opens.

Murray McCrone of Troon Welbeck
Accepting The Runners Up Awards


This competition was contested on a scratch basis by two leagues of four clubs, being the eight best placed clubs in the Ayrshire Boys Team Championship in April.
The two section winners were Troon Welbeck GC and Kilmarnock (Barassie) GC who contested the final in September over the Barassie Links.

The runners up, in a close contest were Troon Welbeck GC

Wallace Thornton Trophy Winners
Kilmarnock Barassie

The winners of the trophy, were Kilmarnock (Barassie) GC who took the trophy after a 2 - 2 draw, a birdie four at the first sudden death play off hole giving the Barassie team the trophy for the 13th time in the history of the competition.

Under 16 Runners Up

The final of this event was also played at the Barassie Links in September, with Turnberry GC reaching the final for the first time, against Ayr Belleisle GC, who had contested five previous finals in the event.

Turnberry GC took the runner up place in the competition losing out by 3 - 1 to their opponents.

Under 16 Knockout Trophy Winners
Ayr Belleisle

The Ayr Belleisle GC win was their third in the competition, although in their five previous appearances in the final they had lost the last three, before their 2016 triumph.


Champion Of Champions Runner Up
Euan Ferguson

The trophy was contested by the junior champions of AJGL member clubs from the previous year and the fial, played in September at Kilmarnock (Barassie) saw the 2015 runner up Graeme Greer (Prestwick St Nicholas) play the recenty crowned Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Champion Euan Ferguson (Turnberry) in the final.

Champion Of Champions Trophy Winner
Graeme Greer

The eventual runner up Euan Ferguson started well in the windy and wet conditions in which the final was played and went three up after four before being pulled back to just one ahead at the turn. the final remained close throughout the inward nine, with Graeme Greer taking the fifteenth to go one ahead.

the remaining three holes were halved, allowing Graeme Greer to win the Champion Of Champions Trophy for 2016, following his last hole defeat in the final of the same event twelve months earlier.


Championship Runners Up
Kilmarnock (Barassie)
The premier competition in the Ayrshire Junior Golf league season, the League Championship final was played over the Barassie Links in September between the two qualifying section winners, Kilmarnock (Barassie) GC and Turnberry GC.

Runners up in the competition in 2015, in their fifth final appearance, |Kilmarnock Barassie GC had high hopes of taking the title on their home course but in the event they were destined for the runners up spot for the second season.

Playing in their first final, in their innaugural year of Ayrshire Junior Golf League membership, Turnberry GC won the League Championship title with a 4 - 2 win in the final.

The League Championship Winning Team From Turnberry GC

The presentation of the League Championship trophy to the Turnberry team concluded the presentation of trophies, and the evening closed with a vote of thanks proposed by the Ayrshire Junior Golf League Secretary Billy Tait.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

AYRSHIRE SENIORS LEAGUE - Largs boost membership numbers for 2017

The membership of the Ayrshire Seniors League will be boosted for the 2017 season, with Largs GC joining the competition next year.

The inclusion of Largs brings the membership of the Seniors League to thirteen clubs, alongside Ballochmyle, Prestwick St. Nicholas, Kilbirnie Place, Irvine Ravenspark, Ardeer, Troon Portland, Troon Welbeck, Troon St. Meddans, Loudoun, Kilmarnock Barassie, West Kilbride and Prestwick St. Cuthbert.

Clubs are represented in the competition by teams of 10 players, aged 55 years or over with a handicap of 24 or less, with matches played on a home or away basis on midweek dates during the playing season. 

The competition format is five fourball matches, played on a handicap basis.

Any club seeking further information on the competition should contact Ray Gill at 

AYRSHIRE GOLF ASSOCIATION - 2017 Affiliation fee documents and entry forms sent to clubs

The Ayrshire Golf Association 2017 Affiliation fees documents were sent by email or post to all club secretaries on 1st November, along with entry forms for a number of Ayrshire Golf Association competitions in 2017.

Along with the fees documents, entry forms for the following events were sent :-

Ayrshire Champion Of Champions Trophy
Ayrshire Fourball Championship
Ayrshire Scratch Leagues
Ayrshire Club Handicap Knockout Competition (Presidents Putter)
Ayrshire Club Scratch Knockout Competition (Gary Bryden Memorial Salver)

The fees documentation and entry forms should all be returned to the Area Secretary, along with appropriate payment, by 31st January 2017 at the latest.

Any club secretary who has not received the documentation via email should make contact with the Area Secretary as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

US COLLEGE GOLF - Euan Walker finishes well in Hawaii

Euan Walker from Troon, a final-year student at the University of Missouri, achieved a top-20 finish in a field of 111 players at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational tournament at Makai Golf Club, Hawaii on Tuesday.


Walker, pictured right, had rounds of 73, 70 and 72 for a one-under-par total of 215 over a long par-72 course of 7,223yd. 

Tied 18th, the Scot finished 12 behind the winner, Braden Thornberry (Mississippi) who scored 71, 65 and 67 for 13-under 203 and a three-stroke victory.

Missouri team-mate Rory Franssen, a freshman from Inverness, had ever-improving scores of 75, 72 and 70 for a one-over total of 217 and a T26 finish.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

AYRSHIRE GOLF ASSOCIATION AGM - John Rushbury elected President for 2016 - 2018 with John W Watt as his Vice President

AGA President
John Rushbury
The Annual General Meeting of the Ayrshire Golf Association was held on the evening of Tuesday 25th October 2016 at Caprington Golf Club with John Rushbury (Royal Troon) being elected as President for the next two years and John W Watt (Prestwick St Cuthbert) taking over as Vice President.

The meeting opened with outgoing President James McMurdo (Ballochmyle) highlighting a number of points contained in his Presidents report, whilst adding to his report the success last weekend of the Ayrshire team in retaining the West Of Scotland Inter County Championship, the trophy for which was on display during the meeting.

Further reports covering Finance, Coaching, Course rating and The Ayrshire Junior Golf League were accepted by the meeting.

Before stepping down, outgoing President McMurdo thanked the meeting for allowing him the honour of serving as President over the last two years, which had seen notable success for Ayrshire teams and players at a national level.

AGA Vice President
John W Watt

Following the adoption of the various reports, John Rushbury, a member of both Royal Troon and Rowallan Castle golf clubs, was elected as President of The Association for the next two years

In accepting the position, President Rushbury paid tribute to his predecessor  and presented james McMurdo with his Past Presidents badge.

John W Watt, a member of Prestwick St Cuthbert golf club, was elcted as Vice President of The Association for the next two years whilst Area Secretary Alasdair J Malcolm (Prestwick St Cuthbert) was re elected to the post he has held since 2009.

New Executive Member
Allan Coulter
Ricky Magee (Caprington), Peter Doyle (Troon Welbeck), Ian Hoynes (West Kilbride), Milton Murray (Irvine) were all re elected to The Executive for a further three year period, along with Allan Coulter (Ayr Belleisle) who was elected to The Executive for the first time, also for a three year period.

Past President Iain Harvey (Kilmarnock Barassie) was also re elected, and will serve a two year vacancy on The Executive.

The area per capita subsciption payable by member clubs was set at £2.60 for the forthcoming year.

No other matters were raised by attendees under A.O.C.B., and the meeting was concluded by President Rushbury

The Ayrshire Golf Association Executive 2016 - 2017

Back Row :- Milton Murray (Irvine), Gordon Boyle (Turnberry), Hugh McKenzie (Troon Welbeck),
Scott Gilchrist (Loudoun), Robert Wilson (Ballochmyle), Peter Doyle (Troon Welbeck), Allan Coulter (Ayr Belleisle),
Mike Hazlewood (Ayr Neptune) Allan Muir (Caprington)

Front Row :- Iain Harvey (Kilmarnock Barassie), Vice President John W Watt (Prestwick St Cuthbert),
President John Rushbury (Royal Troon), Immediate past President James McMurdo (Ballochmyle),
Secretary Alasdair J Malcolm (Prestwick St Cuthbert), Ricky Magee (Caprington)

Not present :- Willie McCormick (Ayr Seafield), Ian Hoynes (West Kilbride)

SCOTTISH GOLF - Championship changes for 2017

Scottish Golf has announced a number of changes to its national championships following a comprehensive review, with several to come into effect from the start of next season.

The governing body has engaged with players, clubs and other stakeholders to help shape the changes, helping to provide a better platform for the nation’s amateur golfers to perform on while showcasing some of the country’s outstanding courses.

The most significant developments concerns changes to the formats and timing of the major national match play championships, while the Scottish Youths Championship will be removed from the schedule, with the category no longer complimenting the national structure or international amateur calendar.

In line with a number of other countries, the Scottish Boys and Men’s Amateur Championships will change from straight knock-out to 36-hole stroke play qualifying, with the leading 64 players (and ties) reaching the match play stages. The Scottish Boys Championship also moves from its traditional April slot into the school summer holidays, to be played for the first time alongside the Scottish Girls Championship, running concurrently on two neighbouring courses, with Scotscraig and Drumoig named as the 2017 host venues. The boys’ field size will reduce to 180, with the girls at 64.

The Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship will be held at Royal Aberdeen (6 – 10 June) for the first time since former Solheim Cup star Janice Moodie won the event there 25 years ago, while Royal Troon’s Old Course will continue to host the prestigious Helen Holm Scottish Women's Open Stroke Play Championship accompanied by the Troon Portland course.

Also in Ayrshire, Prestwick will be joined by Prestwick St Cuthbert in hosting the stroke play qualifying for the Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship (31 July – 5 Aug) and Western Gailes welcomes the leading male amateurs for the Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play Championship in early June.

Like their match play equivalents, the Scottish Boys and Girls Stroke Play Championships will be played on the same dates, moving to the Spring (Easter) holiday slot of 10 - 12 April next year, with Monifieth welcoming the boys and Montrose staging the girls.

Eleanor Cannon, Chair of Scottish Golf, said: “Following our review, it is important that we embrace the traditions and history of the game, but equally vital that we look to the future and ensure our championships remain relevant to participants.

“The Scottish Golf Board is acutely aware on the increasing demands on people’s time, both the players and the parents of competitors, which has an impact on a number of our events, while consideration was given to why players compete in events, which is often different between male and female competitors.

“We stage national championships not only to give our players a great experience on courses which showcase their talents, but also to profile our clubs. Scotland has a fantastic variety of courses and we are hugely grateful to all member clubs who support our events, who can hopefully benefit from the spotlight being on them for that particular week.”

“Our member clubs provide us with their facilities free of charge to enable us to deliver quality championships, for players at all levels, whether competing at the very top of the amateur game or enjoying the experience of competing on the national stage for the first time.”

Details of dates and venues for the various Area, County and Club team championships will be confirmed later in the year, while Scottish Golf will also be announcing the schedule for its portfolio of national handicap championships once discussions with host venues and sponsors are concluded in the near future.

Online entries for national championships will be available at in January.

Scottish Golf National Championships Schedule 2017

1 - 2 April
Scottish Junior Tour U18
10 - 12 April
Monifieth Links
Scottish Boys Open Stroke Play Championship
10 - 12 April
Montrose, Medal
Scottish Girls Open Stroke Play Championship
21 - 23 April
Royal Troon & Troon Portland
Helen Holm Scottish Women's Open Stroke Play Championship
13 - 14 May
Scottish Junior Tour U16 & U14
2 - 4 June
Western Gailes
Carrick Neill Scottish Men's Open Stroke Play Championship
6 - 10 June
Royal Aberdeen
Scottish Women's Amateur Championship
21 - 23 June
Royal Burgess
Scottish Senior Men's Open Championship
28 June - 1 July
Scottish Senior Women's Open Championship
30 June - 5 July
Scotscraig & Drumoig
Scottish Boys & Girls Championship
11 - 13 July
Fairmont St Andrews, Kittocks
Scottish Boys U16 Open Championship
17 - 18 July
Scottish Girls U16 Open Championship
31 July - 5 Aug
Prestwick & Prestwick St Cuthbert
Scottish Men's Amateur Championship
13 - 14 Aug
Crail, Balcomie Links
Loretto School Scottish Boys & Girls U14 Championship

Monday, October 24, 2016

COURSE RATING - Scottish Golf seeking new volunteers to undertake National Golf Course Raters duties

Scottish Golf, the governing body of the amateur game, is seeking willing volunteers to join their team of national golf Course Raters.

As part of a fully trained team, Course Raters walk golf courses assessing the difficulty of each hole in line with the USGA Course Rating Framework which ensures consistency in the measurement of each course’s difficulty.
Course Raters play a critical role in establishing the Standard Scratch Score (SSS) which is used as the basis for the handicapping system and a key benefit of being a golf club member in Scotland.
Volunteers for these roles will benefit from a variety of benefits including:
·         Training in a recognised course rating accreditation programme

·         Be provided equipment and uniform

·         Get the chance to play new golf courses

·         Various additional benefits and giving something back to the game

F   Further information and application for the post can be found on the Scottish Golf websitem, via the link below :-

Sunday, October 23, 2016

US UNIVERSITY GOLF - Walker shines again for Missouri

Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) shone again for the University Of Missouri last week with a 12th place finish in Tennessee.

(Report and photograph courtesy of the website)

Ayrshire's Euan Walker, a final-year student at the University of Missouri, finished 12th in a field of 84 at the Bank of Tennessee Collegiate tournament at Blackthorn Club, the Ridges, Jonesborough in Tennessee.
The Scot (pictured) shot three rounds of 70 over a par-72 course of 7,217yd for a total of six-under-par 210 - seven behind the winner by two, Charles Huntziner (Penn State) (66-68-69 for 203).

Charlotte's three freshman from Ireland and England, finished as follows:

Connor Purcell 74 69 75 for T33 on 218
Matty Lamb from Hexham 75 71 74 for 220 and T44
John Gough 78 71 72 for 221 and T48

Missouri (842) finished second to team title winners Virginia (829) with Kent State (848) third. Charlotte (863) finished seventh of the 15-team line-up.