Providing a fantastic start to the nation’s historic Ryder Cup year, Bernard Gallacher OBE is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement accolade at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards.
Ahead of the biennial contest at Gleneagles in September, Gallacher will fittingly collect his award when the event returns to the Hilton Glasgow on Friday 28 February, alongside winners from every level of the game in Scotland.
The evening is now established as one of the highlights on the golfing calendar, attracting nearly 600 guests to the prestigious Glasgow venue back in March and earning a nomination at the 2013 Scottish Event Awards.
Gallacher – the eight-time Ryder Cup player and victorious captain in 1995 – is sure of a night to remember alongside members of his family, especially in light of his recent health scare.
The 64-year-old suffered cardiac arrest before giving an after-dinner speech at the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen in August and spent almost a week in intensive care as golf fans the world over prayed for his survival.
With Gallacher now thankfully well on the road to recovery, he is planning his return to the golf course and will be heavily involved in leading a campaign for the defibrillator machine that saved his life at the Marcliffe to be made widely available at golf courses throughout Britain.
Resultantly, all proceeds from the ‘Long Putt Challenge’ at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards will go towards Gallacher’s fundraising efforts, with the new Scottish Golf Charitable Trust also set to benefit from proceeds raised from ticket sales.
“I’m delighted to be accepting a Scottish Golf Lifetime Achievement award ahead of such a special year for golf in the country,” said Gallacher, whose award is sponsored by Jewson, the UK’s leading supplier of building and timber materials.
“It’s an honour to follow the greatest names in Scottish golf who have received this award in the past,” continued Bernard, who will join Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie, Sam Torrance and last year’s recipient, Sandy Lyle, in the nation’s Hall of Fame. “It promises to be a wonderful evening in Glasgow, one I’m thoroughly looking forward to.
“I enjoyed my playing career, as an amateur and a professional, but it’s probably my contribution to the Ryder Cup that I’m best remembered for. It was a privilege to captain three teams and winning in America at Oak Hill was really the icing on the cake for me.
“I played in the first Ryder Cup in Scotland in 1973 at Muirfield and, like all golf fans, I’m looking forward to it coming back for what will be a fantastic contest.”
Remarkably, Gallacher was involved in every Ryder Cup team between 1969 and 1995 – either as a player, assistant or captain. One of the most highly respected of all Scottish golfers, he was Tony Jacklin’s assistant from 1985 to 1989, toasting a first-ever European victory over the Americans at The Belfry in 1985 and on US soil for the first time two years later.
Emulating another Bathgate Golf Club stalwart, Eric Brown, Gallacher was appointed team captain at KiawahIsland in 1991 and then at The Belfry two years later, before victory duly came at Oak Hill. Gallacher, whose nephew is Scotland’s No 1 professional Stephen, collected 22 professional wins, finishing in the top 10 on The European Tour Order of Merit five times between 1972 and 1982. In his amateur days, he was a Scotland international and won the 1967 Scottish Stroke Play.
As well as Gallacher’s honour, the annual awards night – jointly organised by the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association – will honour the achievements of Scotland’s amateur and professional golfers over the past year, and take a look back at the country’s proudest Ryder Cup moments.
Leading broadcaster Dougie Donnelly will MC the event, alongside a host of stars and celebrities from across the sporting spectrum, with Scotland football managers Gordon Strachan and Craig Brown, rugby legend Tony Stanger and Olympic curler Eve Muirhead all in attendance earlier this year.
Awards will include Scottish Player of the Year – sponsored by long-standing SGU supporter Aberdeen Asset Management – Amateur Golfer of the Year and Shot of the Year.
Sam Torrance, who was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 event, said: “The Scottish Golf Awards are one of the highlights of our golfing year.
“Three generations of my family were there in 2012 and we had a great night with plenty of entertainment. I’d encourage golf fans to try and be there in February, as it will launch what will be a huge year for Scotland and golf in general.”
Guests will have the opportunity to have their photograph taken with the Ryder Cup, Claret Jug and Solheim Cup, while an array of fantastic golfing prizes will be up for grabs in the fundraising auction and raffle.
A table of 10 at the black tie event, which also features live music from Gleadhraich, champagne reception and 3-course meal with wine, costs £850, while individual tickets are priced at £90, including VAT.
Scottish Golf Awards www.scottishgolfawards.org