The £1,500 first prize for RBS Junior Club of the Year will be contested between Bathgate, Fortrose & Rosemarkie (pictured), Peebles and Prestonfield after each enjoyed a landmark year in attracting youngsters to the game.
Competition in the individual category is just as strong with Dundas Parks’ Jim Cowper, Alastair Tait of Fortrose & Rosemarkie, Liz Taylor from Prestonfield and Thornton member Fraser McDonald in contention for £500 for re-investment into their clubs, plus £100 to use personally.
The winners will be presented at the glitzy 2014 Scottish Golf Awards, alongside some of the biggest names in golf. Two representatives from each of the aforementioned clubs will attend the bash at the Hilton Glasgow on February 28 to see the victors crowned, where they will also witness Scottish Ryder Cup legend Bernard Gallacher receive a Lifetime Achievement award.
Junior Convener David Hood picked up the RBS Junior Club of the Year prize on behalf of Strathendrick at the 2013 Scottish Golf Awards and he says he has been amazed by the impact winning such a prestigious accolade has made at the Stirlingshire venue.
He said: “The club was ecstatic to win the 2012/13 RBS Junior Club of the Year award and we have seen some phenomenal results. This year, our numbers grew dramatically and we now have 74 junior members. This time last year had 42, so it has been remarkable.
“With our prize money, we purchased more equipment and are investing the remainder in building a new junior training area within the club. Without the support of RBS, we would not have been able to do this.
“The award has meant everything to all of those involved. It recognised the fantastic support we get from our juniors, parents and our superb team of volunteers.”
Last year’s Volunteer of the Year, Shirley Murray of Torvean, was just as impressed with what her accolade has meant for the club and looks forward to passing on the baton to an equally deserving candidate.
“The RBS Awards… see those who have put their time and effort into our programme rewarded for this terrific work” – Jackie Davidson, ClubGolf manager
“I was absolutely gobsmacked to win the RBS Volunteer of the Year award last year,” said Murray. “I was thrilled to bits. I had worked hard but to get the reward was the icing on the cake, and it has opened a good few doors for the club itself.
“We were able to invite a local pro from Inverness to come to the club once a month from April to October and he has developed a very good relationship with the children. It has most definitely had an impact on their standard of play.
“I won’t be sad to give up my Volunteer of the Year title because, if the person who gets it in 2014 is as enthusiastic about kids’ golf as I am, then good luck to them. I hope they have as much success as I have had.”
Applications for the RBS Volunteer of the Year were invited from all volunteers involved in Scottish golf, while the club prize is reserved for those clubs and facilities affiliated with ClubGolf.
ClubGolf Manager Jackie Davidson is delighted the hard work being done for junior golf at clubs and the tireless enthusiasm of Scotland’s volunteers is being recognised once again.
She said: “For everyone at ClubGolf, the RBS Awards are one of the highlights of the year as we get to see those who have put their time and effort into our programme rewarded for this terrific work.
“As always, we have had a great response across the country with many terrific stories of those doing their utmost to improve Scottish golf at the grass roots.
“Our shortlists, while not exhaustive of the great work being done, represent those clubs and individuals who have done the most to encourage participation in the game of golf and we look forward to seeing the winners crowned at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards.”