Golf: Return of Edinburgh school league on track

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A SCHOOLS event that provided valuable competitive experience to some of the Capital’s top amateur golfers more than 20 years ago is being revived.

The Edinburgh High School League will resume with three events over the next few months and is being supported by European Tour star Stephen Gallacher through his junior foundation.

Involving teams of a 
maximum of six players, it will tee-off at Carrick Knowe on April 12 then move on to Craigentinny (April 26) before visiting Silverknowes on June 21.

A second round of dates has already been scheduled for September and will consist of five rounds of golf through to 2014.

Driving the resurrection of the League has been Scott Knowles, the former Scottish Golfer 
of the Year and now manager 
of the Stephen Gallacher 
Foundation.

“I have been in discussions with Lesley Nicholson (clubgolf) and Shona Clark (Active Schools) since the end of last year [with] regards what we can do to revive interest within Edinburgh in High School competitive golf,” said the Kingsknowe man.

“The reason being is that the likes of Stuart Johnston and myself and many others can remember when there were competitive matches within schools – Tynecastle, Forrester etc. In fact, this was were I met Stuart and we’ve been friends ever since.

“Within primary schools, clubgolf clearly has a major involvement and this helps them move into the high school areas. So we asked Shona Clark to see if there was interest within the schools to revive something within the area.

“Around ten high schools 
noted interest in such an event, so we then devised the structure of the event and, with the help of Edinburgh Leisure, Active Schools were allocated the tee times on a Friday afternoon for the event to take place.

“We are delighted as a Foundation to be involved with this. We will monitor how it works and will then look to try and expand this in to different areas in the Lothians – East Lothian currently run their own league – and beyond, if possible.”

Prizes will be awarded at the end of the Order of Merit series for individual scratch, individual handicap and school team champions.

Three net scores will count at each event towards the overall school team score. Scoring will take a strokeplay Stableford format, with a point system 
being established for the Order of Merit ranking.

“This will provide a fantastic chance for Edinburgh high school pupils to represent their school in the Order Of Merit format, as well as increase the opportunities to compete with, and against, their peers at many different courses across the city,” said Nicholson, clubgolf’s regional manager for the East.

“With the introduction of Primary 7 players into the league in June each year, it will also create a robust competitive golf pathway and positive transition for those moving up from 
Primary School to High School.

“We foresee the league growing from strength to strength and look forward to seeing a great turn out at the first event at Carrick Knowe.”