Peterhead cutting costs to attract junior golfers

Ronnie Bruce is hoping to attract junior members to Peterhead Golf Club
Ronnie Bruce is hoping to attract junior members to Peterhead Golf Club

BUDDING Rory McIlroys and Tiger Woods are being handed a discounted fee to join Peterhead Golf Club this year.

In an enteprising move to bolster falling membership, under 12s can now join for just £50 - half the usual rate.

The club is also offrering joining fees of £100 for 13-18 years olds and £250 to 19-21 years olds.

Faced with competition for youngsters from everything from football to computer games - not to mention the tough economic climate - the club recently agreed to offer the vastly reduced fees to attract fresh blood into the Craigewan clubhous.

Junior convener Ronnie Bruce, who is at the heart of the new offer, told the Buchanie: “Six or seven years ago we had lots of youngsters playing whcih was really heartenign for the club. But over the years that number dwindled quite significantly and we felt we really had to be pro-active and get the numbers built up in 2013.”

Junior membership last year came in just below 90, but over the past few years around 100 juniors have been lost from the books.

“It’s a real shame for a club like Peterhead because not so long ago it had one of the biggest - if not the biggest - junior sections in Scotland,” explained Ronnie.

Its junior team has won the likes of the coveted Aberdeen and District Pennant League Championship and the Evening Express Off the Tee title. This year’s team are preparing for another hotly-contested season - and looking good in new jumpers sponsored by Stephen Burnett.

Rising stars such as Philip McLean who is now vying for professional status has also emerged through the club’s ranks.

In addition to offering the cut-price fees, Ronnie will be offering free coaching to juniors through the CubGolf initiative.

ClubGolf gets straight to the heart of Scottish golf, creating opportunities and access for young people. Having already enjoyed phenomenal success, the programme, supported by numerous partners continues to grow from strength to strength.

Ronnie said: “I will be taking the kids out and showing them the basics of the game to hopefully get them hooked on this great game.

“Once the youngsters get a feel for golf, a feel for the outdoors and start enjoying the interaction with the other players of all ages they will relaise what fun and enjoyment they will have throughout their life.

“We are very lucky here in that the juniors have the 9-hole course where they can play to their heart’s content and learn to develop their game.”

Not only will the juniors have the fun of developing their own game, they will be encouraged to compete in the many medals and competitions which tee off in April.

Youngsters interested in joining or putting their name forward for the free ClubGolf lessons should visit the club office as soon as possible..