Supporting golf in the islands

While golf has a long and rich tradition on many of the islands off the coast of Scotland there is often a lack of professional coaching available to help youngsters and adults improve their skills.

With that in mind, The R&A supported a recent expedition by PGA professional Bill Murray to stage a series of coaching sessions in The Shetlands and on Benbecula and South Uist.

There is no professional based on The Shetlands so Bill spent four days at The Dale Golf Club coaching groups of juniors and running individual 20 minute sessions for men and women. From there he visited the island of Whalsay, off the east coast of the main island, which has its own 18 hole links course. The course is surrounded by the sea on both sides and it was against this spectacular backdrop that Bill ran coaching sessions for two groups of ten juniors, two groups of women and some of their fellow male players.

From there Bill headed south and west to Benbecula Golf Club where around 30 people, including 20 juniors, received swing advice. Finally, it was south again to Askernish Golf Club, the renowned Tom Morris designed island course, where Bill once again worked with golfers of all age groups.

“It was a successful trip and I received a great response from the many different golfers on the islands,” said Bill. “While there are excellent golf courses and facilities on the islands there is often a lack of coaching available. Just as on mainland Scotland people have a real passion for golf and improving their skills and I would like to thank The R&A for their assistance in enabling me to run these coaching sessions.”

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Working for Golf at The R&A, said, “We are involved in many projects supporting the development of golf around the world but also closer to home. Bill has done some excellent work in encouraging participation in golf in the islands and helping youngsters and more mature players to improve their skills.”

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