Dunaverty duo Belle Robertson and Jock MacVicar became the first non-Tour professionals to enter Scottish golf’s Hall of Fame on a night when Russell Knox and Paul Lawrie were also honoured at the Scottish Golf Awards in Edinburgh.
Robertson and MacVicar grew up together on the Mull of Kintyre before going on to become two well-kent faces in Scottish golf, one through achievements on the course and the other writing about the sport.
Now 80, Robertson won a plethora of amateur events at home and abroad, including a record seven Scottish Women’s Championship, as well as a Ladies British Amateur Championship, making it fourth-time lucky in that event in 1981 after losing in three previous finals. She was also involved in nine Curtis Cup matches – seven as a player and the other two as captain.
Picking up her well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award in front of 550 guests at the Corn Exchange in the capital, she said: “You always feel on receiving exciting news, such as an award like this, that it’s one of the greatest pleasures anyone could be given. Therefore, I’ve been dancing with delight since Scottish Golf delivered this wonderful news. I feel very honoured and humble this should come my way.”
MacVicar, who turns 80 in April, is the long-serving golf correspondent of the Scottish Daily Express, having covered his first Open Championship in 1962 at Royal Troon and worked at every Ryder Cup since 1993, having attended it for the first time at Royal Birkdale in 1969. However, he gleans as much satisfaction from getting to know up-and-coming players at events like the Scottish Boys and Scottish Amateur Championships.
“I feel extremely honoured to have received this Lifetime Achievement Award,” said MacVicar as he also joined past recipients Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Bernard Gallacher and Catriona Matthew in the Scottish Golf Hall of Fame. “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 and officials and the media, and seen so many great courses, although Dunaverty remains high on my favourites list.”
On a night when Beatson Cancer Charity and the Scottish Golf Charity were the beneficiaries from fund-raising, Knox won the Aberdeen Asset Management Player of the Year award for the second year running, deserved recognition for him claiming a second PGA Tour title in 2016 and also climbing into the world’s top 20, while Lawrie picked up the Allied Surveyors Scotland Inspiration Award for his superb efforts in growing the game at grass-roots level through his Foundation, which has been in existence since 2001.
“I feel very proud to be presented with the Inspiration Award in front of golf fans and my peers and it is also fantastic to see Belle and Jock receiving their Lifetime Achievement accolades, both of which are richly deserved given their contribution to golf in Scotland,” said the Aberdonian. The Bob Torrance Coach of the Year award went to Ian Rae, the long-serving national coach who helped Scotland record back-to-back wins in the European Men’s Team Championship and also watched one of his professional pupils, Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen, top the Ladies European Tour money list.
Team: Scotland Senior Men. Club: Muir of Ord. Volunteer: Douglas Slater (Stromness). Boys’ Order of Merit: Jamie Stewart. Girls’ Order of Merit: Hazel MacGarvie. Adam Hunter Award: Hazel MacGarvie. Senior Men’s Order of Merit: Graham Bell. Senior Women’s Order of Merit: Sheena Wood. Men’s Order of Merit: Euan McIntosh. Women’s Order of Merit: Hannah McCook.