Golf stars of the future are competing at some of the north of Scotland’s leading courses in a second winter programme for young players being run by the Paul Lawrie Foundation in the area.
The foundation’s Winter Series, launched in the Highlands last year, is aimed at helping junior players continue to play competitive golf between November and March.
It is supported by Highland Golf Links (HGL), a partner organisation which includes three of Scotland’s leading links courses – Nairn, Royal Dornoch Golf Club and Castle Stuart Golf Links – as well as three major hotels, and is aimed at promoting golf and tourism in the area.
All three HGL courses feature in the 2016-2017 programme which teed off at Nairn last month and continues on Sunday (27 November) at Tain Golf Club and then Moray Golf Club New Course (8 January); Nairn Dunbar (26 February); Castle Stuart Golf Links (26 March); and Royal Dornoch (2 April).
The Winter Series is a stroke play competition for boys and girls who were under 18 on 1 January this year. Up to 30 competitors will take part, with a handicap limit of 18 for boys and 24 for girls.
The Paul Lawrie Foundation was launched in Aberdeen in 2001, two years after Paul won The Open at Carnoustie, and since then has assisted thousands of juniors to start playing golf, improve their skills and compete in tournaments.
Its mission is to get as many young people playing the sport as possible and, ultimately, produce a tour winner or even a Major Champion.
In May 2015, the Foundation extended its reach into the Highlands with the assistance of Fraser Cromarty, chairman of HGL and chief executive of The Nairn Golf Club, one of the founding sponsors in the area. Fraser is also responsible for organising and running the majority of the Winter Series events throughout the Highlands.
The first tournament arranged in the Highlands under the PLF banner – the Paul Lawrie Foundation Junior Open – was won by Nairn member Sandy Scott, who was part of Scotland’s successful defence of the European Amateur Team title in July and also took part in the Fairstone Men’s Home Internationals in August.
Fraser Cromarty said: “We all recognise the importance of supporting junior golf and we are delighted to help Paul and the foundation develop the second Winter Series in the Highlands.
“Last year’s events were a great success and we are looking forward to again seeing the young golfers testing their skills on some of the finest courses in the Highlands.”
Michael MacDougall, manager of the Paul Lawrie Foundation, added: “We are delighted to again have all the HGL courses among such a strong group of high quality courses hosting our events.”
Entry to the events is via the Foundation website www.paullawriefoundation.co.uk