SCOTTISH Golf Development Centre students Jennifer Allan and Stuart Easton yesterday secured the most coveted prize in golf – two tickets to the opening day of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Allan and Easton defeated Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson in a unique Captains’ Challenge.
The fun-filled event pitted one boy and girl from each of the eight ClubGolf regions in Scotland against captains Watson and McGinley in the ‘closest to the hole’ contest, following a team challenge match in which four regions representing ‘Team Watson’ faced off against their counterparts in ‘Team McGinley’.
Both competitions took place over Gleneagles’ remodelled PGA Centenary Course and marked the ‘Year to Go’ to the eagerly-awaited Ryder Cup in 2014.
All 16 participants were selected after applications were invited from Scottish Golf’s Development Centre Programme, operating across Scotland. In Phase 1, 24 PGA professionals were engaged in the delivery of 30 hours of coaching to almost 300 young players. Phase 2, featuring an additional 14 facilities, commences next month and forms an important facet of the more advanced stages of the ClubGolf Player Pathway.
The importance of the ClubGolf programme to the legacy of the 2014 Ryder Cup was also recognised on the day. Established as a key component of the successful Scottish host bid some ten years ago, the programme has a goal of bringing golf to every nine-year-old in Scottish schools, with the latest figures showing almost 300,000 P5s introduced to the sport since its inception.
ClubGolf manager Jackie Davidson said: “The 2014 Ryder Cup has created some incredible opportunities for children in Scotland, not least the thousands upon thousands who have been introduced to golf at schools through ClubGolf.”