Bernard Gallacher was honoured by the Scottish Golf Union last night as he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards.
The former Ryder Cup player and captain accepted the award during a glittering evening at the Hilton Glasgow in front of a sell-out audience of 650 guests. It was the last to be presented on a night when Scottish golf at all levels was celebrated.
Having endured health problems last August after he suffered a cardiac arrest while attending a dinner in Aberdeen, the 65-year-old enjoyed a night to savour in the company of family, friends, and Scottish sporting stars that included the Men’s Team GB curlers who won the silver medal in Sochi.
“It was an honour to receive the award in front of Scotland’s golf fans and several members of my family. I’m also privileged to follow in the footsteps of past winners of the award, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance, Paul Lawrie and Colin Montgomerie." - Bernard Gallacher
A portion of the evening was dedicated to the staging of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles later this year and there was no-one better credentialed than Gallacher to realise the magnitude of the event.
The Bathgate man was involved in every Ryder Cup, in some capacity, from 1969 to 1995. He played on eight teams, was an assistant three times, and was captain on three occasions, including in 1995 at Oak Hill when he led the European team to victory.
He also enjoyed an illustrious career on the European Tour, winning 22 times as a professional and finishing in the top 10 on the European Tour Order of Merit five times between 1972 and 1982.
“It was a hugely enjoyable night at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards at the Hilton Glasgow,” said Gallacher. “It was an honour to receive the award in front of Scotland’s golf fans and several members of my family. I’m also privileged to follow in the footsteps of past winners of the award, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance, Paul Lawrie and Colin Montgomerie.
“I’m lucky to have enjoyed a wonderful career, with the Ryder Cup obviously among my highlights. I played in the first Ryder Cup in Scotland in 1973 at Muirfield and, like all golf fans; I’m looking forward to it coming back for what will be a fantastic contest at Gleneagles this year.
“Well done to all the award winners and than you to the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association for organising a wonderful evening.”
His fellow Ryder Cup Scots Lyle, Andrew Coltart, Harry Bannerman and Norman Wood joined him for an on-stage Q&A with awards co-hosts Dougie Donnelly and Caroline Henderson.
A number of Scotland’s young amateurs were also present, with Glencruitten’s Robert MacIntryre the third recipient of the Adam Hunter Award, which was created following the death of the ex-European Tour player and coach.
Solheim Cup star and Scottish Open champion Catriona Matthew was named Player of the Year, with her husband and part-time caddy, Graeme, collecting the accolade.
Phil Mickelson’s title-winning chip in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open play-off at Castle Stuart last summer earned the Shot of the Year, with the fans favourite recording a special message for his Scottish fans. The University of Stirling, who defended their European title last year, were named the Team of the Year.
The efforts of those involved at the grass roots level of the game were also recognised, with the RBS Volunteer of the year award going to Liz Taylor from Prestonfield, while Highland club Fortrose & Rosemarkie triumphed in the RBS Junior Club of the Year.
The annual showpiece event, jointly organised by the SGU and SLGA, helped to raise thousands of pounds for the new Scottish Golf Charitable Trust, which supports junior golf, education and environmental best practice, while all proceeds from the Jewson Long Putt Challenge went to Gallacher’s defibrillator campaign. Together with the PGA and Arrhythmia Alliance, he is campaigning for the defibrillator machine that saved his life last year to be made widely available at golf courses throughout Britain.
2014 Scottish Golf Awards – Full list of winners
Amateur Golfer of the Year James Ross
SGU Seniors Order of Merit Lindsay Blair
Shot of the Year Phil Mickelson
SLGA Girls Order of Merit Connie Jaffrey
SGU Boy’s Order of Merit Ewen Ferguson
SLGA Ladies Order of Merit Eilidh Briggs
SGU Men’s Order of Merit Jack McDonald
Adam Hunter Award Robert MacIntyre
Team of the Year University of Stirling
Junior Club of the Year Fortrose & Rosemarkie
Volunteer of the Year Liz Taylor
Player of the Year Catriona Matthew
Lifetime Achievement Award Bernard Gallacher
Photo credit: Kenny Smith Photography