It was a special start to the new year for one of Scottish Golf’s longest serving volunteers as William Mitchell was recognised with a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2019 Queen’s New Year Honours list. Better known in the golfing world as Bill, the award recognises his continued and substantial service to golf through his work in course rating and handicapping.
For over 30 years, Bill has held a vast number of voluntary posts at club, regional, national and international level. As an influential figure, Bill’s involvement in the implementation of the CONGU Handicapping System has seen him contribute to the enjoyment of millions of golfers across Europe.
Motivated by his willingness to share knowledge and expertise in the fields of handicapping and course rating, Bill has supported the training and education of course rating volunteers all over Scotland and further afield in countries such as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Iceland.
In addition, Bill has contributed, as a widely acclaimed expert, on bodies such as CONGU, the European Golf Association and former Scottish Golf groups focusing on the Environment and Greenkeeper Education.
Bill was also the first UK representative invited to join the USGA Course Rating Committee.
A member of Cochrane Castle Golf Club since 1953, Bill was elected as Honorary Member and Honorary Vice President for his voluntary services and contribution to the golf club over 25 years. Bill was also elected as an Honorary Vice President of the Renfrewshire Golf Union in 1999 for his services to Area golf.
CEO of Scottish Golf, Andrew McKinlay said: “Bill is one of the most dedicated volunteers that Scottish Golf is fortunate to have. Golf in Scotland is powered by committed volunteers up and down the country, we are delighted to see Bill recognised for his incredible contribution and want to start 2019 by saying thank you to the community of volunteers for their continued support across the game in Scotland.”
Calum Grant, Scottish Golf’s Handicapping & Course Rating Officer, who works with William on a regular basis added:
“Bill’s enthusiasm and love for the game is second to none. His selfless contribution to golf in Scotland, and further afield makes him a worthy recipient of this award. Over a number of years, Bill has motivated many volunteers within course rating and handicapping and we are forever grateful for his outstanding contribution.”
“Always a gentleman, courteous and considerate of other’s opinions, Bill has raised awareness and influenced a great many people in his efforts to ensure golf continues to grow in Scotland. His success in doing so has been down to the fact that people respect and trust his judgement and integrity in all that he does.”
Handicapping and course rating are core services provided by Scottish Golf and allows golf courses to receive a rating which in turn allows golfers to compete in competitions. To find out more about course rating, click here.