Student support maintained as Tour Series 2022-23 begins
20 Sep 22
The R&A has been a long-time supporter of university and student golf, helping the development of players while they undertake their studies for 35 years.
Of course, being a student is an exciting time to play the sport. A chance to dedicate time to improving, to progressing, to taking on new challenges – and meeting new friends along the way.A student scholarship programme has been at the heart of The R&A’s backing over the years, as well as providing support to universities to assist with the delivery of their golf syllabus. Currently, The R&A supports 17 universities, 14 are based in Great Britain & Ireland with Halmstad, Malaga and Pretoria also receiving funding. In the 2020/2021 academic year 75 students were awarded R&A Foundation scholarships.
As an incentive for any budding golfer, the list of former scholars reads like a who’s who of golf. They include 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari (University of Turin); 2021 Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama; and Catriona Matthew (University of Stirling), the 2009 Women’s British Open Champion. >> Apply for a student scholarship hereBack in April, Matsuyama entered the history books after becoming the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship thanks to his memorable triumph at Augusta National. Matsuyama, who was also the first Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion to claim a major, studied at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai and, in 2011, led the golf team to a gold medal at the World University Games. Jackie Davidson, Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said, “We remain committed to supporting student golf and helping players develop while working through their studies. The list of former scholars illustrates the opportunities available and what can be achieved. “Our student scholarship programme supports individuals across the world and the application process for scholarships opens annually. We look forward to seeing more students progress in their golf over the coming year.”
Tour Series develops
In recent years, support of student golf has been enhanced and maintained with a major new initiative – The R&A Student Tour Series. Launched in 2019, it provides students with the opportunity to compete with their international peers and fellow academics regularly in elite amateur championship conditions and on some of the best courses GB&I and Europe has to offer. It provides high performance competition amongst the leading student golfers outside of the USA and Mexico.Taking place on prestigious courses in four countries within the student year, the Series is played at venues that have hosted The Open or been a venue for The Open Qualifying Series or the DP World Tour.With the 2022-23 Series teeing off at Montrose Golf Links earlier this month, The R&A continues to provide a pathway for aspiring golfers to follow their dreams. Louise Duncan, for example, was a regular performer in Student Tour Series events with the University of Stirling graduate now turning to a career in the professional ranks after back-to-back impressive displays in the AIG Women’s Open.
Scotland’s Penelope Brown and Alan Fahy from Ireland were crowned Order of Merit winners of the inaugural Student Tour Series in 2019, before another Ireland-Scotland combination saw David Kitt and Lorna McClymont coming out on top earlier this year in their respective categories. The individual stories of Kitt, Ben Fuller, Nicola Slater were featured in The R&A’s ‘Making the Grade’ video series this year – providing a unique look inside the life of a student golfer – as they competed in the series and sought to progress to the grand final in St Andrews.“I can’t thank The R&A enough for this series,” said Kitt. “It’s a great initiative; it’s well organised, extremely professional, and we play great courses against good players. I speak on behalf of everyone when I say thanks for giving us this incredible opportunity to develop our games.”More info/scoring from the Student Tour Series can be found here.