Thornton lad in the mix for one of Scottish golf’s prestigious prizes

Fraser McDonald (16) of Thornton Golf Club
Fraser McDonald (16) of Thornton Golf Club

Scotland’s youngest PGA-licensed coach is in the running for one of Scottish golf’s most prestigious accolades.

Fraser McDonald (16), of Thornton Golf Club, has been shortlisted for the 2013/14 RBS Volunteer of the Year award.

The Tayside & Fife youngster has been pivotal in the continued success of Thornton’s junior section over the last 18 months and follows in the footsteps of the ClubGolf Co-ordinator Keith Renton who was a finalist for the same award last year.

Prior to obtaining his PGA Level 1 coaching license last May, McDonald was already a dedicated helper, managing four and seven-hole competitions at the club, which included organising draws, co-ordinating coaches, supervising the events and setting club handicaps.

He continued to show great initiative early in 2013 by establishing interactive indoor lessons on etiquette, course management and rules.

This was made possible by a successful grant application for the necessary laptop, projector and screen, which McDonald also arranged himself.

Creating connections with local schools has been another of his greatest achievements, having introduced a crash coaching course for primary school children and inviting kids from the local high school to undertake tuition at the club, which he delivered.

Delighted to be included alongside some of Scotland’s most experienced ClubGolf coaches in the running for the prestigious award, McDonald said: “I was thrilled to hear that I had been shortlisted for the award and was very grateful that Thornton Golf Club chose to nominate me.

“Regardless of the outcome, to have the opportunity to attend the Scottish Golf Awards with my family in the year that Scotland hosts the Ryder Cup really does mean a lot to me.

“If winning this award meant that I inspired other young people to take up golf or become coaches, then my commitment to ClubGolf has been worth the time and effort.

“It would be the perfect conclusion to what has been a very successful year for me personally and for the commitment shown by Thornton’s coaching team.”

Also in contention for the award are Dundas Park Junior Convenor Jim Cowper, Prestonfield’s Liz Taylor and Alastair Tate from Fortrose & Rosemarkie.

The overall winner will be presented at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards alongside some of the biggest names in golf, including Ryder Cup legend Bernard Gallacher, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement award for his services to the sport.