Two of the nation’s golfing stalwarts, Belle Robertson and Jock MacVicar, joined former Open champion Paul Lawrie in being honoured at the 2017 Scottish Golf Awards last Friday (24 February).
The Dunaverty duo of Robertson and MacVicar saw their long-serving efforts on and off the course proudly recognised as they were honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards on a glittering night in front of over 550 guests at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.
Robertson, one of Scotland’s greatest ever amateur players, and renowned Scottish Daily Express golf journalist MacVicar, become the first non-Tour professionals to join the nation’s illustrious golfing ‘Hall of Fame’, alongside past recipients Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Bernard Gallacher and Catriona Matthew.
On an evening which celebrated success at all levels of the game, Lawrie was also presented with the Allied Surveyors Scotland Inspiration Award for his outstanding efforts in growing the game at grassroots junior level through his Foundation, which has been running since 2001.
Robertson, 80, a winner of a string of amateur events at home and abroad and a nine-time Curtis Cup player, said: “You always feel on receiving exciting news, such as a Lifetime Achievement Award, that it’s one of the greatest pleasures anyone could be given. Therefore, I‘ve been dancing with delight ever since Scottish Golf delivered this wonderful news. I feel very honoured and humble this should come my way.”
MacVicar, who covered his first Open Championship in 1962 and celebrates his 80th birthday in April, added: “I feel extremely honoured to have received this award. I’ve been covering the sport in Scotland and beyond for over 50 years, and it has been nothing but a pleasure, not in any way a grind. I’ve made so many friends, among the players, officials and the media, and seen so many great courses, although Dunaverty remains high on my favourites’ list.”
Lawrie, who was also on hand to present the Adam Hunter Award to Troon teenager Hazel MacGarvie in memory of his former coach, said: “It was a wonderful night in Edinburgh and great to see so many people from across the sport given recognition. I was very proud to be presented with the Inspiration Award in front of golf fans and my peers.
“As much as I was honoured to be given such an Award, it was also fantastic to see Belle and Jock on stage receiving their Lifetime Achievement accolades, both of which were richly deserved given their contribution to golf in Scotland.”
Lawrie’s European Tour colleague Stephen Gallacher and the former Scotland manager Craig Brown presented the Aberdonian’s award, with other leading golf names among the crowd including Tour winners Richie Ramsay, Alastair Forsyth and Stephen McAllister, as well as Ladies European Tour No 1 Beth Allen, Scots pair Pamela Pretswell and Gemma Dryburgh and Curtis Cup-winning captain Elaine-Farquharson-Black.
Ramsay accepted Ian Rae’s Bob Torrance Coach of the Year award after his work with Allen and helping Scotland’s Men secure back-to-back European Amateur titles, while there was also a notable double for Russell Knox, as Scotland’s leading player once again won the coveted Aberdeen Asset Management Player of the Year award after a second PGA Tour title in 2016 and a climb into the world’s top 20.
At the grassroots level, recognising the fantastic work of clubs and individuals to support the game in their local communities, there was a Highland double as Muir of Ord secured the closely-fought Club of the Year prize, while the Volunteer of the Year honour went to Douglas Slater from Stromness GC.
Scotland’s Senior Men lifted the Team of the Year prize after their first European title success in 10 years, an award presented by former GB Davis Cup tennis player Colin Fleming, who was in attendance along with Scotland rugby coach Nathan Hines and ex-Manchester United midfielder Michael Stewart.
Beatson Cancer Charity and the Scottish Golf Charity were the beneficiaries of the event’s fundraising, which has helped generate more than £75,000 for good causes over the past three years. Other key partners supporting the event included American Golf, Club Systems International, HowDidiDo, ShotScope and Revive Active.
2017 Scottish Golf Awards: Roll of Honour
Scottish Golf www.scottishgolf.org