Youth section thriving at the St Andrews Golf Club
While many clubs are struggling with their junior sections, St Andrews Golf Club continue to go from strength to strength.
In the past year, the club has recruited 45 new members taking othe total membership from 77 to 122.
There are also three seven-year-olds waiting to be admitted, while 45 of the total membership are aged 12 and under.
The club have this week been hailing the efforts of their younger players at an awards evening.
The final of the junior club championship was won by Jack Sharp, with Finlay Galloway winning the under-14 club championship for a record fourth year in a row.
The inaugural under-11 club championship, which was supported by Allister Raphael, was won by Thomas Kelly.
The juniors performed notably in national and regional competitions this year.
Alex North played brilliantly in the Scottish Boys before losing narrowly in the quarter finals at Bruntsfield. He had the consolation of winning the Fife individual strokeplay and matchplay championships.
Finlay Galloway finished fourth equal in the Scottish Boys under 14s and won the under-14 order of merit on the Scottish Junior Tour.
Charlie Gillespie and partner Ewan Scott played in the Bute Trophy against the New Club and earn the club a crucial half point. Jack Sharp also won the junior champion of champions.
The juniors were even more successful in team events.
Jack Sharp, Charlie Gillespie, Stewart Forrest, and Chris Barker won the Fife junior team championship at Balwearie for the first time in 14 years and then in September, a six-man team finished second in the Scottish junior team championships at Crail.
In the interclub matches the only defeat of the year was against the New Club with the club enjoying wins over Carnoustie, Stirling and Montrose, the last match being the club’s first ever under 12 match on Balgove.
Junior convenor Eric Gillespie added: “We were again extremely grateful to the New St Andrews Japan Golf Trust for a kind donation towards our junior section which has been used mainly on professional coaching to develop our juniors.
"Mike Ciesla’s family have kindly presented a new trophy for competition between Montrose and St Andrews Under 12s and Derek Gray has kindly presented the Balgove Trophy for competition amongst our younger members. We are also grateful to other adult members who donated clubs and balls throughout the year.
“The number of professional coaching sessions offered free of charge to our juniors was the highest ever and its clearly paid dividends. The club are extremely grateful to Scott Herald for delivering these sessions.”
Gillespie himself was congratulated and thanked for all the time and effort he has put in with the younger players and for the creation of a platform and a pathway for members.
All of this work is now making the club one of the strongest junior organisations in Scotland.