Stranraer golfers are just champion

Stranraer's young golfers with the Wigtownshire Junior League Shield
Stranraer's young golfers with the Wigtownshire Junior League Shield

Stranraer Golf Club is celebrating a sensational 2013 following home and away success over local rivals Portpatrick Dunskey and victory in the Wigtownshire Junior League.

Stranraer’s team, all of whom have participated in Scotland’s national junior golf programme ClubGolf, first travelled to nearby Dunskey to claim the Park Cup, contested in a singles matchplay format. That was followed by home victory in the McCracken Cup, a doubles event.

To top off a remarkable year, Stranraer’s best eight young charges were also worthy winners of the Wigtownshire Junior League Shield, having outperformed Wigtownshire County, Portpatrick Dunskey, Newton Stewart and Wigtown and Bladnoch in league matches over the course of the season.

Delighted by the performance of the juniors in 2013, and indeed by the health of the section as a whole, Stranraer’s junior convener, Val Plant, said: “We’ve got some really good kids coming through. We have several lads who are playing off of handicaps of two and three, and there is no reason a lot of the younger children can’t do the same.

“The Park Cup is a particularly good trophy to win as we encourage a lot of the younger kids to play. They are playing off of the high teens and low twenties in terms of their handicaps but we are hoping they will come through and be good single-figure golfers in the future.

“Thanks to coaching from local pro James Erskine and ClubGolf, we would like to think there is now a conveyor belt of kids coming through at the club. Many are members at both Stranraer and Portpatrick Dunskey and there is no doubt that ClubGolf has helped junior golf at both clubs immensely.

“We have had a really successful year and the weather has been excellent too. We didn’t lose one single night to the weather. We had one night when we coached on the putting mats in the clubhouse and one when we took them to the driving range but we actually managed to do something with them every night. That is really helpful because if you get a couple of bad nights the children can begin to lose interest and don’t come back. That really didn’t happen this year. It has all been really good.”

After being invited to take a trip to County Antrim, Northern Ireland, to enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities and first-class coaching at the Darren Clarke Golf School, Stranraer’s young golfers are now looking forward to topping off their landmark year with a visit to 2014 Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles, made possible by ClubGolf.

There, children will test their short game skills over the PGA National Academy Short Course and take part in a coaching session, delivered by the Gleneagles team of PGA professionals.