Alistair Tait of Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club took home the Gallacher Award, recognising the exceptional volunteer work he carried out for his club’s junior section.
The Golf Foundation President’s Awards last week celebrated some of the “heroes of junior golf” who have given their time and enthusiasm to provide young golfers with a positive start in the game.
Held in Wentworth Club’s Ballroom, a packed audience from the world of golf heard the stories of nine award winners and their projects, featuring: the volunteers, PGA Professionals, junior organisers, schoolteachers and local authority officers who all help to develop the leading players of the future.
And it was Alistair Tait who took home the prize. The Fortrose man secured funding to develop practice facilities and set out a three-hole mini-course for the younger juniors. He then purchased and fitted mirrors to the storage shed on the practice area as a teaching aid, and painted the three covered bays himself.
The club’s reputation led to a visit from the French Golf Federation to experience its methods, and coaching numbers in 2013 were exceptional with 80 children signing up after Easter to be coached by a total of nine trained coaches during one-hour sessions.
“We have become a development centre for golf in the North of Scotland.” - Alistair Tait
“I was certainly surprised - the award just came out of the blue,” Alistair Tait told bunkered.co.uk. “I didn’t know I had been nominated.”
Tait declined to take all the credit for the success of the scheme.
“I was delighted for everybody at the club because we have worked hard to build up a good team of coaches and we’ve increased the numbers of children attending.”
“We have become a development centre for golf in the North of Scotland.”
Ryder Cup star presents Alistair Tait's award
Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts was on hand to present Alistair Tait with his award and Charles Harrison, chairman of the Golf Foundation, thanked the Belgian for his commitment.
“So many of us remember the wonderful effort of Nicolas at Medinah. We could wish for no better golfer to present our awards today as he and the rest of Europe’s Ryder Cup Team will have been a huge inspiration to a new generation of young golfers."
"Without these dedicated, heroes of junior golf, many of golf’s star players would never find their game."
Leading the ceremony, Golf Foundation Chief Executive Mike Round thanked Alistair Tait and the other nominees.
“It is worth remembering that the efforts and achievements of our award winners are equally impressive, albeit in a different way,” he said.
“Without these dedicated, heroes of junior golf, many of golf’s star players would never find their game, and thousands of other young people would miss the chance to enjoy this great sport.”