Golf: Allyn & Co have caught bug for Dispatch Trophy

AS the deadline for entries looms, one of the leading amateurs in the Lothians has admitted he'd always put the Dispatch Trophy before any event it might come up against.

Allyn Dick, a member of Carrickvale's historic treble-winning team, missed the first of those finals in 2007 to play instead in the Scottish Stroke Play Championship at Royal Dornoch.

But, as he looked forward to linking up again with David Ewen, Craig Elliot and Darren Coyle up at the Braids, the former Scottish Mid-Amateur champion revealed that nothing would now stop him from playing in Edinburgh's historic team event.

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"I've got the Dispatch Trophy bug," said Dick, who has become a central figure on the Capital circuit since he joined Carrickvale and, more recently, has made Kingsknowe his home club after playing out of Shotts for so long.

"It gets the same status on my calendar as the Scottish Amateur Championship and club championships – that kind of thing.

"It's a fantastic tournament and one of the great things about it is that the Braids, where there are so many risk and reward holes, can be a great leveller when you've got five handicappers and scratch players facing each other."

Over the past three years, Dick has linked up with his good friend, David Ewen, to great effect and is proud they've earned Carrickvale a place in the record books.

"When I first played in the event, I didn't really know anything about it but I soon discovered what a big tournament it is for people who play their golf at clubs in Edinburgh," he added.

"It's an event steeped in history and to be part of the first team to win it three years in a row is something I will always cherish." As part of their preparations for this year's event, Dick and Ewen have been playing badminton over the winter to ensure they're not lacking in terms of fitness when it comes to the big tee-off.

"It would be great if we could make it four in a row and, at the same time, give Carrickvale a fifth success overall in the event," said Dick. "For me, our opening match can't come quick enough as I'm looking forward already to getting back up there as I feel I've got the perfect partner for the Braids – Davie never misses a fairway."

Tomorrow is the deadline for entries and, while all the regulars will be back up the Braids in a few weeks' time, the Dispatch Trophy committee would be delighted to see some new entries this year.

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It would be fascinating, for instance, to see a ladies' team taking on the men, with Margaret Anderson having already broken new ground in the last year or two by becoming the first female member of the committee.

During a recent visit to Edinburgh, Europe's Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie made his first trip up to the Braids and admitted he couldn't believe its stunning setting.

As regulars up there will know, it's even more stunning in the spring when the gorse is in all its splendour and, as Allyn Dick knows, it is easy to get that Dispatch Trophy bug.