Andrew Oldcorn gives thumbs up to Ratho Park’s new pond hole

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Former PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn has given his seal of approval to Ratho Park, his home club, putting some splash into its “signature hole”.

Nearly three-quarters of the club’s members voted in favour of a pond option over restoring bunkering to the original James Braid design at the par-3 15th.

Oldcorn, who has been affiliated with the venue for more than 40 years, was delighted to be invited to open the re-designed hole and liked what he saw.

“It has turned out well,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a drastic change as it’s more a case of the pond having been brought into play.

“The majority of the people I spoke to really liked it and I also believe that a pot bunker is going to be put it in on the right in time.”

Oldcorn is attached to Kings Acre on the other side of the Capital, but Ratho Park has always been the one closest to his heart since he moved to Edinburgh as a youngster.

“I joined the club as a junior in 1976 after the one at Dalmahoy folded,” he recalled. “I ended up at Ratho as couple of guys from school played there and we are still friendly.

“They are also still members and I was made an honorary member after I won the English Amateur in 1982, which was great and I still say that it’s my home course.”

Oldcorn’s visit for the opening of the 15th hole coincided with the club raising £445 for the Kidney Dialysis Unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

That is aimed at supporting members Robert and Billy Stevenson as the former prepares to donate a kidney to the latter.

“It’s quite a significant thing for anyone to do and I was pleased that we were able to raise a bit of cash on the day,” said Oldcorn.

The 57-year-old, who won on the European Senior Tour last year, is off to the US later this month for the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National in Washington.

“It’s always difficult to go across there to take on guys who have been playing at a high level over the winter and we’ve had nothing since December,” he said.

“But, at the same time, that makes you more fired up and focused while I also have a reasonable record in this event.”