The late, great W.C. Field once said ‘ Start every day with a smile and get it over with’. A rather downbeat quote, but one which suits the mood of many a golfer as they reflect on what has been a miserable twelve months of wet weather. But, never fear, good times lie ahead. The sun is going to shine, greenkeeping staff will return to grass maintenance instead of clearing waterlogged greens, and everyone can concentrate on improving their golfing skills.
Like many former Presidents, I look forward to this first year in office, and the opportunity of meeting many Club officials, rank and file members, and our talented squad of players who represent Fife at local, national and international level.
There are challenges ahead, particularly the likely merger of Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies Golf Association, which will have interesting implications on how the FGA is managed. Funding is another issue to be tackled. In order to improve our cash flow, we will shortly be introducing a Patrons List for those of our supporters who are willing to donate a small amount of cash to assist with our coaching programme. Those interested will find details in this edition of the Yearbook and on our website.
It goes without saying, but nonetheless should be said, how much we value the efforts of volunteers at Club and Area level. Their contribution in promoting golf, organising matches, coaching, course rating and the administration of the handicapping system are all essential in expanding golf within the Kingdom and home of golf. The FGA also values the support it receives from Clubs who generously provide us with the courtesy of their courses for local and inter-Area tournaments.
We are also indebted to our sponsors and coaches who enable us to improve the quality of our coaching programme which, in turn, enables our elite squad to fulfil their potential at the top level of tournaments, and enhances the career potential of some of our most talented players.
In that respect, I would like to congratulate our young talent, namely, Ewan Scott who, last year, won the Scottish Youths’ Championship at Ladybank, with Ryan Walsh placed in bronze position. Also Martin Buchan, who won both the Fife Youths’ Match and Stroke Play Championship. This year we expect our other young players such as Niall McMullen and Greg Forrester to challenge for a place in the Gents squad.
On the adult front, we are blessed with the outstanding skills of James White and Brian Souter who consistently represent Scotland in international events. This year Fife was runner up in the 2012 Scottish Area Team Championship, having won in the previous year. In 2013, this prestigious competition will be held at Crail GS and I look forward to Fife regaining the title. With such raw talent as Scott Crichton, Alistair Hain, Colin Martin, Alan Sutherland and Scott Stewart-Cation, this ambition is within our reach.
We continue to liaise closely with SGU through Jim Scott, our SGU representative, and assist in any way with their many initiatives which includes the Golf Performance Programme, particularly for up and coming young golfers, Club Development and recruitment, and the setting up of the new national Development Centres at St Andrews, Elie and Wellsgreen.
Finally, I look forward to meeting many friends, past present and future. I’m particularly glad to have the support of Jim Horsfield as Immediate Past President and Gordon Taylor my Vice President to help me navigate my way through the year ahead. I’m doubly glad to have an enthusiastic team of executive members who will keep me on the right track and make my term of Presidency, a thoroughly enjoyable experience.