Duns clubgolf coaches pick Johnnie Walker champ - again!

Duns GC juniors with soon to be Johnnie Walker Champion, Thomas Bjorn
Duns GC juniors with soon to be Johnnie Walker Champion, Thomas Bjorn

Duns Golf Club’s junior convenor and his fellow coaches have the knack for picking the Johnnie Walker Championship winner.

A year ago junior convenor David Rhind and the club’s other coaches took a dozen children from their clubgolf programme to watch the event, and approached Eduardo Molinari for a team photo and autographs. A day later the Italian won the title.

Then on Saturday David approached Thomas Bjorn’s caddie and requested a group photo with the Danish star. Bjorn happily obliged but, as the Duns juniors gathered around him, little did they know that he would go on to win the tournament in dramatic fashion.

“Maybe DGC Juniors are a good omen for the golfers,” said David.

“I’m already asking myself who we should pick for a team photo next time?”

The 10 Duns youngsters and volunteer coaches had been invited to the Johnnie Walker Championship along with some other 200 children on the national junior golf programme, clubgolf.

Each child attending had the opportunity to practise their skills under the eye of PGA professionals and qualified volunteer coaches in the dedicated clubgolf coaching area and watch the pros in action on the course.

As the venue for the Johnnie Walker Championship and the host venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup, The Gleneagles Hotel is one of the strongest supporters of golf in Scotland. It donated the total revenue, £19,500, from Friday’s ticket sales to clubgolf, which so far this year has introduced 37,790 children to the game through its schools’ introductory programme, firstclubgolf.

David Rhind added: “Feedback from the kids was very positive with them having learned some excellent tips to improve their putting, bunker-shots and full swings. Thanks to all the PGA coaches there on the day, the kids have already been practising what they learned.

“We then went to watch the golf. Watching the likes of Bjorn, Larrazabal, Foster and others tee-off at the first suddenly gave the kids the ‘wow’ factor. The course was immaculate, the tournament exciting and not too busy which is better for the kids getting to see their idols.

“The message coming back is that the experience has made them want to play golf more and get much better. Like 2010 it was a fantastic day out for all concerned.”