Ladies’ professional golf in Scotland has been given a major boost with the announcement that the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Ladies Tartan Tour will be brought under the umbrella of the PGA in Scotland.
The move follows the fledgling circuit’s successful debut in 2013 and will see the PGA in Scotland become the first of the Professional Golfers Association’s seven regions to run both its men’s and women’s professional circuits.
Announcing the move, Brian Mair, the secretary of the PGA in Scotland, said: “We are committed to providing all our members with professional, competitive playing opportunities throughout the country and we very much look forward to supporting ladies golf during 2014 and beyond.
“This move represents an important step in our quest to promote the game to all sectors of the community and to reach as wide an audience as possible.”
The Ladies Tartan Tour was the brainchild of Scottish golf writer Colin Farquharson and St Andrews-based teaching professional Nicola Melville.
A qualified rules referee, Melville will continue this year as the tour’s director.
“We are delighted to have the sponsorship from the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre again and look forward to working with the PGA in Scotland to support ladies golf in Scotland,” she said.
The 2014 Ladies Tartan Tour schedule comprises five 36-hole events
The tour is open to all female professionals and amateurs with single-figure handicaps and is not restricted to Scottish-based players. Last year, 82 different players, including some from the Continent and England, competed on the tour.
This year’s schedule comprises five 36-hole strokeplay tournaments, each held over two days, at high-profile Scottish venues: Fairmont St Andrews, Murcar Links, Dundonald Links, Macdonald Cardrona and Marriott Dalmahoy. Each event will have a prize fund of £6,000.
The decision to make tournaments on the Ladies Tartan Tour's 36-hole events, as opposed to the 18-hopers they were last year, was pushed through by Lawrie.
“We want to provide a platform for the lady pros and amateurs to prepare for the day when they tackle the Q School and beyond by getting them used to playing two-round tournaments," said the former Open champion.
"Nothing wrong with 18-hole events but a different mindset is required by a player for competitions over two rounds or more. That is one of the reasons why I started the Paul Lawrie Invitational at Deeside on the men's Tartan Tour which is dominated by one-day pro-ams."
Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Ladies Tartan Tour: Find out more
For more information on the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Ladies Tartan Tour, visit the PGA website: www.pga.info