Thursday 30 April 2009

Dutch Incident

We'd like to offer our respects to those killed and injured in the attack during the Dutch Royal Family parade today. We had only just posted the news about Pem Van Heek celebrating his victory on the Dutch Queen's birthday and then saw the news on the BBC about the lunatic driving his car into the crowd. What more can you say other than offer your thoughts to those affected.

Highland Classic 09 Images

The 2009 event is over barring a meal tonight at Royal Dornoch Golf Club enjoy some of the images from the past couple of days

Netherlands Golfer Takes The Title

Pem van Heek from The Netherlands was today crowned Champion Golfer at the 2009 Highland Golf Classic. Pem who's been travelling with his fellow Dutch golfers to The Scottish Golf Classics on and off for the past seven years saw off the very serious challenge of Yorkshireman Guy Lamb on the 72nd Hole by a singel stableford point.
Van Heek went into the final round with a two point lead and had increased to three as they teed up at the the final hole at Tain when off his first drive he found trouble and was forced to play a provisional ball from the tee. He did find his ball but from the deep rough left the ball short and left of the green. Lamb coolly lobbed his wedge to four feet.
Pem's first putt went some distance by the pin and the onlookers couldn't help but then be impressed by Lamb's solid birdie putt.
Fortunately for Van Heek he had another two putts for the trophy and needed them.
It was a fitting victory for the Dutchman as his country is today celebrating the Queen's Birthday and the all marked the occassiob by wearing the orange!
More details on the day will follow.
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Wednesday 29 April 2009

Farewell to Dornoch

It's Dornoch - and the sun's shining! Well it is now at 2 o'clock in the afternoon but let's say it was less than conspicuous first thing this morning when the players ventured into the wind coming at them down the first. Fair play however all of the tee shots went straight and true with only a single very conspicuous exception but more of that below.

There'll be plenty of time for thank you's later but every time you come to Dornoch you realise just how magnificent this golf course is. It may not have hosted an Open Championship but that is purely down to location. You never know perhaps global warming and Scotland's reported population growth may see Inverness become the capital of Scotland and a population in the Northern Belt of 3.5 million in a hundred years time celebrating Royal Dornoch's first Open!

Until then we can just be settled with the knowledge that it is the best course in Scotland never to have hosted an Open Championship.

And it also reminds me that if it wasn't for Dornoch and the support of it's club manager John Duncan that the Highland Golf Classic would have got even thus far. The recognition of John that Dornoch's involvement could assist the revenues and profile of nearby Golspie was instrumental in them being involved. They didn't necessarily need the business nor the coverage but knew that by collaborating they could contribute and make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

If collaboration is the only way forward for all enterprise models (and it is) then understanding how this can be developed in tourism is critical for us all. We've seen the potential benefits recently with our involvement in Scotland's West Coast Golf Links with recognition that even the strongest can benefit in partnership with perceivid weaker partners. This principle has to underwrite the future of The Highland Golf Classic and we genuinely hope that the golf courses can come together to achieve the original objectives of all those years ago when we first teed the idea up at Inverness Castle.

Back to this morning; freezing!
No pretence of summer, not arguably even a hint of Spring. Just wintry winds. In a few short hours however the wind has died (slightly), clouds have lifted (slightly) and the temperature raised (slightly). It may even mean some of the golfers heading back onto the Struie this afternoon for an impromptu Texas Scramble.

And that first tee moment? Well it had to come from Stewart Spence's group and in the form of the irrepressible David Gillanders.

As stated above every tee shot this morning went straight and true - until David stepped up. And of course with the ladies tee sitting forty yards forward Mr Gillanders to the true, and clearly expressed, delight of his North East playing partners failed to pass the Ladies Tee. At this point Mr Spence was insistent that Rules are Rules and that the normal punishment for this misdemeanour should be taken... like a man! DG vanished into the pro shop where for all we know he fulfilled the requirements - I guess we'll never know. He vowed he'd secure his five... we'll let you know if he did!

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Classic Dolphins...

One of the great things about the Classics over the years is the knowledge that you gain about Destination Scotland! I'd heard about the dolphins off the Nairn coastline but didn't know they frolicked around off the Dornoch Firth. Well now I know... we sat in Brora's clubhouse this afternoon watching a pod of dolphins just a few hundred yards of the beach at Brora.
Scottish Golf Classics... 40% competitive, 60% mammal.

Highland Golf Classic Day Two Update

The final Highland event is taking place this week and the first two rounds have now been completed with Pem Van Heek from the Netherlands in pole position.
The Highland Golf Classic has taken place every year since 2001 but the organisers have decided that it's time to concentrate on the other parts of their business meaning that this year may be the last event for a few years as the events go on ice.
Ian McCaig said,"We're incredibly disappointed that this is likely to be the last event we run up here but we're still hopeful that the events may still move forward with increased local involvement. We still believe that the product is spot on it's just that it's no longer a core part of our business and we can't give it the TLC it requires."
The first tow days golf have taken place over Golspie on Day One and Brora today. The weather? Well let's say that it could perhaps have been a little warmer today but as our Dutch friends say it's a Scottish links course and it deserves Scottish weather. It certainly hasn't stopped them conquering the courses; yesterday Pem van Heek knocked in a neat little 38 points and his compatriot Jan Willem Kalhorn produced an astonishing 77 strokes off 13 and totalled 41 points.
The half way points position has the following:
  1. Pem Van Heek 75 points
  2. Guy Lamb 70 points
  3. Jan Willem Kalhorn 67 points
  4. Roy Leonard 60 points
  5. Sharon Shipton 55 points

Note: Roy Leonard has been playing in The Classics almost since the beginning and has this week achieved his own personal target by scoring more than thirty points for the first time ever! Well done Roy!

Dutch Golfers Blog

we hebben nu de prachtige linksbanen van Golspie en Brora gespeeld, beiden in droog weer " which is good" zoals ze hier zeggen.

Resultaten varieren nogal, maar 'it was good fun'. Morgen Royal Dornoch. Lookin' forward to that.

Pem als altijd saai maar onwaarschijnlijk goed. Kees mist zowat elke put op een haar ( dat scheelt toch al snel 18 punten vandaag) Okkie geniet van het uitzicht, Hack kampt met een ernstig gebrek aan techniek bij het 'fighting the wind', en JW heeft last van z'n knie (houwen zo.....)

Monday 20 April 2009

Junior Winner From Barassie

Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club, Ayrshire, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 Scottish Boys Golf Championship at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, won the latest SGU Junior Tour event at North Berwick earlier today with scores of 74 and 68.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Farewell Ayrshire Golf Classic

Organisers of The Ayrshire Golf Classic this week announced that this year's event - taking place the first week of May - is to be the last for the foreseeable future. The event which has attracted golfers from all over the world since its inception in 2000 is going into hibernation following the 72 hole stableford event being played over Prestwick, Western Gailes, Barassie and Dundonald.
There are still about a dozen spaces available for the event which can be packaged with accommodation or bought as a golf only price.
Find out more about the Ayrshire Golf Classic.

Dundonald Links Special Offers

Dundonald Links have just published their latest Late Offers which includes tee times from as little as £40 per golfer. There is limited availability throughout April and special rates are also available throughout the year at selected times. Dundonald offers full access to the visitor at weekends making Ayrshire even more accessible for the short break golfer.
Check out Dundonald's Offers

Barassie Launch On Line Tee Times

Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club have become the latest course within Scotland's West Coast Golf Links to offer the visitor to their website the chance to reserve their tee times online.
The club are using BRS to offer the golfer the ability to book directly trhough their website
The tee time reservations system now means that the club's website allows golfers to check availability and make confirmed reservations for both their golf and also their accommodation as the club offers a hotel reservations system through Bookassist.
Check tee time availability at Barassie now