Juniors make impact

TOPS: Alex Ritchie with his dad, James Ritchie, just as they head out to play a round.
TOPS: Alex Ritchie with his dad, James Ritchie, just as they head out to play a round.

All of the Junior Members at Fraserburgh Golf Club cannot wait for the new season to start in April as major plans are already in place which will help them develop their golf game and take it to a new level.

With the financial help of numerous local sponsors, which is greatly appreciated, we are in a position to set out a heavy fixture list from the start of April, and have also arranged a Golf Skills Challenge where the youngsters can practice constantly - improving their game and compete not only against other juniors, but against anybody who is ‘up for the challenge’ in team and individual events.

HOPEFUL: Blair Fraser is battling it out at the top of the Junior Winter League.

HOPEFUL: Blair Fraser is battling it out at the top of the Junior Winter League.

We are delighted to announce our Junior Open this year will be sponsored by Gray and Adams Ltd and the pelagic fishing company, the Taits Group, Ocean Fish Selling, who sponsor our Match Play Championship, and are both tremendous supporters of our Junior Golf.

The Skills Challenges will start in April, therefore members should check the notice board inside the clubhouse nearer the time, or through the club website or Facebook page.

A partnership has been established with Fraserburgh Academy, who are introducing golf to all of the first year pupils.

At least 12 juniors are turning up every week to compete for the CRT Packaging Silver Claret Jug, which the winner proudly takes home for the week.

We cannot believe how many different winners there have been since we started in October, which not only highlights the competitiveness of the youngsters, but the amount of effort, practice, and dedication that all of them are prepared to put into their game.

We have 2 leaders battling it out at the top, Bard Murray and Euan Barbour, both on 46 points, with Blair Fraser on their heals with 35 points.

The others are not far behind, and are determined not to let the winning post get out of their sight.

As Junior Convenor, I am seeing first hand the speed that these young golfers are developing their own game, and it is absolutely incredible.

A prime example of this is 7-year-old Alex Ritchie who has been playing golf since he has was 2-years-old, and plays in the Winter League in the Wee Divot Section (Handicap 28+ ).

Alex played for his first ever handicap round at the beginning of November, notching a score of 148 over 18 holes on the Rosehill Course, achieving a handicap of 80.

Last week, Alex had his best round to date, with a terrific 119 gross score, smashing his course record by 29 shots. He demolished his handicap, and is now playing with a very impressive 65!

I could not say who was more proud, his father James Ritchie, who always accompanies Alex during his round, or Alex himself, who punched the air with sheer delight as he sunk his last putt.

The Wee Divots play for a weekly shield, which he obviously won on the day.

We are framing both Alex`s scorecards, which he will look back on in years to come, and remember every shot clearly, with his proud dad by his side.

Alex’s mother, Sara Ritchie, even had the movie camera out as they both walked tall off the course - definitely one for the family album.

Two of the club’s former juniors, Kris Nicol and Jordan Findlay, turned professional last year and are a massive inspiration to all of our young members.

Kris and Jordan have offered to take time out to spend a bit of time with our juniors despite both have a heavy playing schedule arranged for the forthcoming season.

Everybody at the club would like to wish both Kris and Jordan every success in their new professional golfing career.