An exciting season lies ahead for Aberdour Golf Club and its picturesque course on the Fife coast, close to the Forth bridges and across the river from Edinburgh. June, July and August will all see the club host big events – a ground-breaking charity tournament, a Tartan Tour pro-am and, last but not least, a national junior championship. “It really is an exciting year for Aberdour and we are looking forward to staging what all promise to be fantastic events,” says club captain Eric Dey.
First up, on Thursday June 16, is the event being staged by Barnardo’s Scotland – the first of its kind to be hosted by the charity in the ‘Home of Golf’. It will be a shotgun start and is being organised by Roselle Events chief executive Joanna Daley, an Aberdour member and a supporter of Barnardo’s Scotland.
Just over a fortnight after the Barnardo’s event – on Friday July 1 – the Tartan Tour will then roll into Aberdour for the biggest pro-am in Fife on the 2011 Scottish PGA schedule.
Roselle Events, an Edinburgh-based events company, is sponsoring that tournament, which will see teams of three amateurs join forces with some of Scotland’s leading-home based professionals.
They are likely to include Team Scottish Hydro members Chris Doak and Craig Lee, former European Tour rookie of the year Scott Henderson and two-time Northern Open champion Jason McCreadie.
“It is great for the area that we staging this event and we are hoping it will involve up to 50 teams,” says David Gemmell, the club’s long-serving professional. “I personally have been trying to get an event like this up and running for a number of years now and, thanks to the efforts of a hard-working sponsorship committee, I am delighted it is now happening. To have been able to secure a main sponsor in Roselle is terrific, especially in the current economic climate.”
As well as offering a tidy sum for the winning professional, the event will also raise money for charity, with ‘Help for Heroes’ having been identified by the organising committee as one of the worthy causes.
The Fife club will be buzzing with activity again on Thursday August 11 and Friday August 12 when it stages the Loretto School Scottish Under-14s Championships, an event involving the rising stars of boys’ and girls’ golf in the country.
Indeed, the boys’ title was claimed by English youngsters five years in a row until Blairgowrie’s Bradley Neil recorded back-to-back wins in 2009 and 2010.
West Kilbride’s Connie Jaffrey made it a Scottish double by landing the girls’ title at Auchterarder last summer and now it’s the turn of Aberdour members to get the chance to see some potential stars of the future in action.
“We have seen Scott Crichton, Jamie Stephen and Samantha Munro all emerge as promising players at the club in recent,” notes club captain Dey. “It is an honour for Aberdour to be staging an event like the Scottish Under-14s Championships and I am sure there will be at least one player in the field who will go on to big things in years to come.”
The players competing in all three of the events on Aberdour’s tasty 2011 menu certainly shouldn’t be fooled into thinking they are in for an easy test on a course which has a par of 67 and measures 5447 yards off the whites.
That may be short by today’s standards but there are plenty of holes where players can come a cropper, straight from the outset, in fact, with two par-3s that may well be picturesque but are also troublesome.
The green at the par-4 fourth is Augusta-like, especially in the height of the summer, while the eighth, a 457-yard par-4 that has the River Forth running all the way up its left-hand side, is certainly up there among the strongest holes in Fife.
“We have been carrying out a lot of work on the course in preparation for what is undoubtedly a big year for Aberdour,” adds Dey. “We are confident that all three of these events will prove enjoyable for those involved.
“The club is doing well with a waiting list, a good Junior programme and the committee is working pro-actively to develop the club to its full potential.”
Aberdour Golf Club www.aberdourgolfclub.co.uk