Thanks to the continued support from the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation, Scotland’s new look amateur squads will journey to the warmer climes of South Africa next month to compete and build for the season ahead.
The competitive winter camp, which is also supported by national team sponsors Aberdeen Standard Investments, coupled with funding from sportscotland, will feature a group of female golfers for the first time, with nine players – including four teenagers – travelling to the Rainbow Nation to take part in the leading events on the South African amateur circuit.
Scottish Golf has been a beneficiary of the Foundation for a number of years, with players such as European Tour members Connor Syme and Bradley Neil gaining valuable experience during their amateur careers, while a number of Scots have enjoyed success while competing against South Africa’s leading players.
“This trip provides a fantastic opportunity for our emerging young talent and we are indebted to the Alfred Dunhill Links and, in particular, Johann Rupert for making it possible,” said Stuart Clayton, Scottish Golf’s Performance Director.
“We are delighted to support a group of female golfers for the first time through the partnership and it will give the players the chance to experience the style of golf they will be required to adapt to should they progress onto the professional tours.”
He added: “Training and playing in a more favourable climate also gives us the opportunity to prepare our best amateurs for the season ahead and with many other countries following a similar path, it helps us remain competitive for the major events in the spring and summer.
“I’m sure all golf fans in Scotland want to see our players continue to perform at the highest level of the amateur game, to give them the best platform for success when they take the next step.”
Back-to-back Women’s Order of Merit winner Hannah McCook (Grantown on Spey) is joined by University of Stirling duo Gemma Batty and Chloe Goadby (pictured top), as well as Aboyne teenager Shannon McWilliam.
Their schedule will feature three events from mid-February until the start of March – Border Championship, South African Women’s Masters and the Supersport Ladies Challenge – along with a friendly four-player team match against their South African counterparts.
The men’s group features three teenagers – Scottish Men’s Amateur champion Sam Locke (Stonehaven), Boys’ Order of Merit winner Darren Howie (Peebles) and Boys’ Stroke Play champion John Paterson (New Club, St Andrews) – along with Cawder’s Calum Fyfe, the Men’s Order of Merit victor, and Kilmarnock Barassie’s Euan Walker.
Seeking to bring home more silverware following recent victories for Craig Ross and Liam Johnston in the South African Amateur (2016) and African Amateur (2017), the quintet will compete in the South African Strokeplay Championship, African Amateur, South African Amateur and in an annual Triangular match against the South African Golf Association’s Junior Team and the South African Golf Development Board.
The training camp will also allow players to work on their short game, swing and general fitness, while supporting some of the work undertaken by the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation with the South African Golf Development Board in introducing golf to youngsters from under-privileged areas of the host country.
The players selected are part of the overall Scottish Golf national squads announced for 2018 which can all be viewed here: https://www.scottishgolf.org/players/performance/player-profiles/
South Africa completion calendar – Men
- 6 – 9 February: South African Strokeplay Championship, Pecanwood
- 13 – 16 February: African Amateur, Glendower
- 19 – 20 February: Triangular Match, Bryanston
- 25 February – 2 March: South African Amateur, Durban
Men’s Squad for South Africa (home club & age in brackets)
- Calum Fyfe (Cawder, 20)
- Darren Howie (Peebles, 18)
- Sam Locke (Stonehaven, 19)
- John Paterson (New Club, St Andrews, 18)
- Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie, 22)
South Africa competition calendar – Women
- 17 – 18 February: Border Championship, East London
- 22 – 24 February: South African Women’s Masters, San Lameer
- 28 February – 2 March: Supersport Ladies Challenge, Wild Coast
Women’s Squad for South Africa (home club & age in brackets)
- Gemma Batty (West Linton, 23)
- Chloe Goadby (St Regulus, 20)
- Hannah McCook (Grantown-on-Spey, 24)
- Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne, 18)
Please note: Batty and Goadby not playing Supersport Ladies Challenge