An historic year for Turnhouse is also shaping up to be one of the most successful in the Capital club’s history.
Turnhouse, who appointed their first-ever female captain this season, have won both the men’s and senior Edinburgh Inter-Club titles and are also on course for a first-ever triumph in the Edinburgh Summer League after reaching the semi-finals.
These successes have followed victories in the Edinburgh Junior Summer League over the past two years, as well as recently bestowed honorary member Euan McIntosh earning a Scotland recall for last week’s Home Internationals in Nairn at the age of 47.
Add in Duncan Stewart, who is attached to the club, winning on the Challenge Tour earlier in the year and now being picked by Scottish No.1 Russell Knox to partner him in the World Cup in Australia later in the year, it’s no wonder captain Sheila Stuart is feeling proud.
“These are very exciting times at Turnhouse,” admitted Stuart. “Our strong junior team who won the Summer League on consecutive years and won through to represent Scotland in Spain on two occasions have now graduated to the adult ranks and are contributing to our success in the Summer League.
“They have been replaced by a very much younger but hugely-talented and enthusiastic group of juniors. Andrew Hendry, who is just 11 won the Junior Championship this year against strong opposition.”
The men’s Inter-Club triumph came at Duddingston, where a team comprising of Lindsay Gordon, Steven Armstrong, Mark Napier, Jack McVey, Lewis Bain and Oliver McCrone beat Dalmahoy, Murrayfield and Royal Burgess en route to the final before winning 5&4 against Ratho Park in the title decider. The evergreen Gordon was also in the team that claimed the senior equivalent, joining forces with David Black, Graeme Hunt and Dave Gillespie to beat Duddingston 2&1 in the final at Murrayfield.
“We are fortunate to have a strong gents’ team which includes Euan McIntosh when he isn’t off playing and doing well in events around Scotland,” added Stuart, who joined Turnhouse after taking up the game in 2002, found it both “welcoming and supportive” to a beginner and served as lady captain before being appointed to her current post.
“We are currently unbeaten in the Summer League, which is in no small part due to the enthusiasm and passion of team manager Moray Hanson. The team support from our members is terrific and it is very much about the team winning for our club and not just as individuals.”
While successes on the course are important, Stuart is also pleased with progress being made off it at Turnhouse as clubs continue to battle dwindling memberships. “I am extremely proud to be the first female club captain of Turnhouse and part of a small but surely growing group of women captains,” said the former captain of Midlothian Ladies. “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is still fairly long with a few bends.
“Although we have always prided ourselves in being a members club, run by the members for the members, there is the recognition that the club has to function as a business .
“We need to market ourselves as it is no longer appropriate to be complacent and our energy is very much focused at present on marketing our assets.
“We have a course which is in fantastic condition and a practice ground/driving range which we believe is the best club practice facility in Edinburgh, if not the Lothians.
“We are fortunate to have two European Challenge Tour pros, Duncan Stewart and Chris Doak attached to Turnhouse. Unfortunately, Chris is out for the rest of the season through injury but it is our gain as he has committed to supporting and coaching our juniors.
“Our clubhouse facilities have been recently refurbished and together with excellent catering we are attracting outside organisations to hold their meetings and functions at Turnhouse. We currently have such an arrangement, for example, with Edinburgh City Football Club.”