More new teams are set to take part in the 119th Dispatch Trophy, including possibly two representing the Lothians Golf Association, as the event continues to be reinvigorated under the Edinburgh Leisure banner.
A decision to change the rules for last year’s tournament to allow course-owning clubs to enter for the first time led to a flurry of newcomers in an event won by George Heriot’s FP after a thrilling final against Silverknowes.
They included a strong East Lothian contingent in Dunbar, Gullane, Kilspindie and Tantallon while new Capital representatives included Murrayfield, Royal Burgess and Turnhouse.
The majority of those clubs will be back at the Braids to have another crack at winning the historic trophy next month, when they will be joined by another batch of newcomers to the event.
Mortonhall, the 2017 Edinburgh Summer League winners, were among the first to enter this year’s event and the line-up this time around will also include at least one team representing the Lothians Golf Association.
“We are definitely entering a boys’ team and the players for that have now been picked,” reported president Paul Gibson. “It will be a young team, giving them experience and also playing foursomes as that will be good for them years down the line.
“We also hope to put in a Lothians Executive team, though it may have to have the support of the Medic One emergency service!”
Gibson himself intends playing in that, as does Jean McNab, who made history by becoming the first woman to serve on the LGA following her appointment at the end of 2015.
A former club secretary and captain at West Linton, she would be the first woman since Julie Douglas, who played for the Edinburgh Evening News in 2012, to tee up in the event.
Prior to Douglas, it was back in 1927 that women had taken part in the event, a team named Dormie and comprising of Mrs JB Watson, Miss Mary Wood, Miss Edith Nimmo and Miss Doris Park losing in the first round.
“The Dispatch Trophy has always been a tournament close to my heart,” added Gibson. “I played in it for a number of years for Register House and I used to love it.
“If the Lothians Golf Association can help in any way at all to rejuvenate it after it looked as though it was close to ending a few years back, then we will be delighted to do so.”
The presence of more juniors in the field for the GolfClubs4Cash-sponsored event is another boost for the event on the back of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation being represented in the past two years.
The closing date for this year’s event is next Wednesday (May 2) and the entry fee is still £70 per team. To enter a team, email DispatchTrophy@edinburghleisure.co.uk