Scottish Open aiming to inspire new generation of golfers through Stephen Gallacher Foundation

Stephen Gallacher’s main focus this week may be trying to give the home fans something to shout about in the Genesis Scottish Open but he’s already proud to see his name attached to the event’s bid to inspire a new generation of golfers.

The Stephen Gallacher Foundation is involved in a number of activities during the $8 million Rolex Series tournament at The Renaissance Club, with the four-time DP World Tour winner describing that platform as “magic”.

Having been provided by new title sponsor Genesis, Gallacher’s foundation will have a team in the pro-am on Wednesday, when the third and final spot will be filled by the winner of an Augusta National-style Drive, Chip and Putt event.

That will take place on both a putting green in the tented village and the far end of the driving range, with the victor pretty much walking straight on to the tee to play in the star-studded eve-of-event pro-am.

Stephen Gallacher Foundation member Rory McClafferty with Jane Connachan, one the coaches, and Stuart Johnston at The Renaissance Club. Picture: DP World

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In addition, a group of 50 kids representing the foundation will also be taking part in a community beach clean on the East Lothian coast on Wednesday as part of the DP World Tour’s new partnership with OCEANTEE, now the circuit’s official sustainable products supplier.

With 300 tickets also having been provided to kids who have been taking part in the foundation’s grass-roots schools’ project, championship director Rory Colville reckons the event can play a part in growing the game.

“Using the Genesis Scottish Open as a platform to get kids into golf is a key target for us and I think we are really pleased how we have managed to create this all-round package this year,” he said.

“It gets the touch points with sustainability and education that gives the elite players in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation to play in the pro-am and gets people to a golf tournament who have never experienced it. I think there are a lot of really positive sides to it and we are really excited about that.”

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Making no secret of the fact he coped what Paul Lawrie had been doing in the Aberdeen area, Gallacher launched his foundation, which mainly covers Edinburgh and the Lothians, in 2012 and has watched it go from strength to strength in the hands of Scott Knowles, who runs it on a daily basis, and his right-hand man, Stuart Johnston.

“It’s unbelievable to have something that’s part of this event,” said Gallacher, who is among nine Scots teeing up in the strongest-ever tournament on the DP World Tour, which features 14 of the world’s top-15 players.

“The Drive, Chip & Putt is what they do at Augusta and it’s about trying to get some interaction and get kids to come along and watch it. Hopefully they then get the bug and start joining golf clubs themselves.

“It’s also a chance for them to come along and see the best players in the world. Apart from a major, they are not going to see a better field than this anywhere in the world.”

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