Great feets of sporting skill at Duns

A selection of Europe’s top athletes will battle it out in the Borders this weekend in a bid to be crowned South of Scotland Champion.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:50 pm
Carolyn Kent

Duns Golf Club is playing host to the FootGolf Association of Scotland’s latest event – the South of Scotland Championships – this Sunday (September 13).

Over 50 players, including several Scotland stars and some who have played for a Rest of the World select, will travel to the town to battle it out on the fairways of the Hardens Road venue.

FootGolf sees players kicking size five footballs around golf courses with 21-inch holes, trying to complete 18 holes in the least number of shots.

David 'Quigs' Quigley

Competitive FootGolf was put on hold in March because of the Coronavirus lockdown but golf is one of the sports allowed under the reduced Covid-19 measures.

And, as FootGolf is played to the same rules as golf, competitions are permitted under the new restrictions.

There has been a flurry of tournaments since the measures were eased, with players observing social distancing guidelines and the rules around mixing with other households outdoors during play.

And the latest event in the Scottish Tour sees some of the best male, female and junior players on the continent heading to Duns to battle it out over 36 holes.

The event boasts 13 of the players who competed in the Scotland v Rest of the World exhibition match one the eve of the Scottish Open, in Greenock, last month, including Scotland captain and current Scotland number four Joe McCourt, and Scotland number three David ‘Quigs’ Quigley.

Scottish female number one Carolyn Kent, who is the top ranked woman player in Europe, is also competing in the event, as is serial Scotland internationalist Claire Williams, who turned out for the Rest of the World last month.

Joe, alongside Carolyn, ‘Quigs’ and current Scotland number one Matt Morgan, was part of the 2019 Team UK side which won two pieces of silverware.

They defeated Team USA in The Jansen Cup – a Ryder Cup-style event between the nations at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, where the 2010 Ryder Cup was staged.

The lads were then crowned European Champions after defeating France in the final of the European Championships, after beating Slovakia, Belgium, Italy, Hungary and Holland en route to the final.

Scotland number two Fraser Weir is also competing in the event, fresh from his Scottish Open victory last month, while 15-year-old Scotland star and junior number one, Sam McGoldrick, will compete in the junior category.

Scotland vice-captain Gavin Howe, himself one of the best Over-45 players in the world, will compete in that category alongside fellow Scotland star Donny McKenzie, while Spaniard Guille Ibarra, who played for the Rest of the World in Greenock, will also be appearing.

Joe, who is also vice-president of the FGAoS, said: “FootGolf in this country is going from strength to strength.

“We’re delighted to be bringing the Tour to the Borders for the first time and the course will provide a stunning backdrop to what should be a tremendous event, with lots of quality play on show.

“Covid guidelines are strictly adhered to and there are penalties imposed on players who don’t comply.

“There are still a few places left at the event, so anyone who is interested in playing should get in contact and sign up.

“This is a great opportunity to play alongside some of Europe’s top players in a competitive but friendly and encouraging environment.

“The course looks immaculate and the guys from the course and the FootGolf Association of Scotland have been great in getting it sitting perfectly ahead of the tournament.

Anyone interested in signing up for the event, or finding out more about FootGolf in Scotland, should search for the FootGolfAssociationofScotlandon Facebook or Twitter.