On Saturday former Open Champion, Paul Lawrie MBE, opened a new facility at Lumphanan Golf Club on Saturday which will help the club develop its position as an integral part of the community. Lumphanan, a 9-hole course in Royal Deeside which prides itself on being a focal point in the local area, reopened in 2000 having been forced to close in the 1960s.
Its road to recovery began with an extensive refurbishment 11 years ago and a shared vision amongst its new membership that it would be inclusive, encouraging everyone, particularly juniors, to join and enjoy golf. Now, the club has an active membership of nearly 200.
Teaming up six years ago with the national junior golf programme, clubgolf, a legacy forScotland’s staging of the 2014 Ryder Cup, has helped the club to attract more youngsters.
It has a thriving junior section, in most years up to 50 members. It has supported over 80 children on its clubgolf coaching programme, and has six qualified clubgolf volunteer coaches. Nineteen year old Callum Cromar, the Junior Convener, one of the club’s leading players and advanced Level 1 coach is the perfect role model for aspiring youngsters.
The new facility, a putting green and driving net, was funded by a £3,000 Awards for All Grant and by contributions from members through various fundraising efforts.
A band of dedicated members have worked with the club’s greens keeper to turn a piece of underused ground into the much needed facility which will be available for all at the club, but particularly juniors.
“We are delighted to have Paul Lawrie opening this new facility today,” said Club Captain, Ken Rankin. “Paul is a great role model and does a tremendous amount for children in the North East of Scotland.
“We are proud of this practice area which will serve a variety of purposes. One of the greatest advantages is that our clubgolf youngsters now have a dedicated, safe area for coaching and practice away from the main course which, until now, we have had to close to members when clubgolf coaching is taking place.”
Paul Lawrie, who through his Paul Lawrie Foundation, is an ambassador for junior golf inScotland, said: “I am delighted to be opening this excellent facility. The club has clearly worked hard to re-establish itself since re-opening in 2000 and members have achieved a great deal in a relatively short space of time.
“They have a strong and growing junior section, a great clubgolf coaching set up and through this new facility a dedicated area where youngsters can develop and refine their skills. I wish them every success for the future and look forward to seeing Lumphanan juniors coming through the ranks and playing in major events in the near future.”
Like the other 300 plus clubs acrossScotlandthat offer clubgolf coaching, Lumphanan is attracting more children from non golfing families. It has a strong link with its local primary school which offers clubgolf’s introductory game through sportscotland’s Active Schools network.
“clubgolf’s Audra Booth has been very helpful in supporting clubgolf in the local community as well as what we have been trying to do here in terms of encouraging youngsters to join in our coaching at the club,” added Ken.
“clubgolf is definitely bringing more kids into the club and some are joining. It’s the only way we are going to sustain small clubs in the community, by making sure that the youngsters are interested in the game and have opportunities to play.”
Lumphanan Golf Club www.lumphanangolfclub.co.uk
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