Catriona Matthew, Scotland’s most successful female golfer, is to lend her expertise to help guide the nation’s leading amateurs as part of Scottish Golf’s new-look Performance team.
Matthew will join former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart on the Performance Committee, as the new amalgamated governing body looks to tap into the knowledge and insight of two of the country’s most experienced professionals.
While a nomination process is underway for candidates to join the committee, ex-Ricoh Women’s British Open champion Matthew has agreed to offer her support.
Karyn Dallas and Clare Queen, both former Ladies European Tour professionals, are also part of the new Performance team at Regional and National level as Scottish Golf looks to improve standards within the amateur game, notably among female players.
Non-executive director Stephen Docherty will oversee the Performance Committee having recently been appointed to Scottish Golf’s new Board on a two-year term.
Matthew joined Coltart in Edinburgh yesterday to help promote the 2016 Scottish Golf Awards, with the eight-time Solheim Cup member to be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement accolade in March.
Docherty, who previously served on the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) Board, said: “Although we are still looking for expertise on the Scottish Golf Performance Committee, I’m pleased to announce that Catriona has agreed to join us.
“She brings valuable knowledge and experience to our programmes, along with Andrew Coltart, who has been involved in a SGU capacity over the last three years. While our male amateurs have performed consistently well in recent years, the women have gone through a more challenging time and we need to focus on supporting our best female players to compete at the top of the amateur game.”
Matthew said: “I look forward to assisting the Scottish Golf Performance Committee going forward and doing all I can to help, fitting in the role alongside my full-time golf commitments.”
With the Scottish Golf Performance Committee to be finalised after nominations close on 8 January, Performance Director Steve Paulding is excited by the changes.
Paulding added: “There are great opportunities for the new amalgamated body as we look to build on the work already achieved with our programmes.
“We have just held our first joint winter training camp in the UAE, which gave our leading female players the chance to develop their games, with Hannah McCook already benefiting after finishing runner-up in the Argentine Women’s Amateur on Saturday.
“We need the whole of golf to be in a healthy position to give us the best chances of success at the top end of amateur golf, so the strength of our clubs and the number of youngsters coming into the game is important to us. It’s vital the whole of Scottish Golf work together to succeed, and having Catriona Matthew to help in that process can only be beneficial to us.”
Meantime, Paulding has now finalised his Performance development coaching workforce at regional level to support Scottish Golf’s programmes.
Dallas, the former Ladies European Tour professional, joins a team of six Regional Performance Coaches, working alongside four National Coaches. Long-serving Kirriemuir pro Dallas, who boasts over 20 years’ experience as a PGA professional, will work alongside George Boswell, Kevin Hale, Ian Muir, David Orr and David Torrance at Regional level.
Rick Valentine, Director of Golf at Loretto School, will also build on his work with the former Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association in his role as Women’s Competition Coach.
Paulding is also supported by new Performance Development Manager Stuart Clayton and Queen, who has taken up the role of Women’s Performance Co-ordinator, having competed on the Ladies European Tour for seven years.
Scottish Golf National Coaches 2015-16
Scottish Golf Regional Performance Coaches 2015-16
Scottish Golf www.scottishgolf.org