Free golf is being provided at a Capital club by the Stephen Gallacher Foundation as the European Tour player steps up his bid to help the next generation of Lothians starlets.
The new tie-up with Swanston will allow Foundation players to use its nine-hole course and also the range free of charge over the next three years.
Players of primary school age are also being offered free membership of Swanston, with that then being available for £100 per annum when they move up to secondary school.
It’s an exciting development for the Foundation, which was launched by Gallacher just over five years ago and has since gone from strength to strength.
More than 1000 youngsters are now registered with the Foundation, the vast majority being from Edinburgh and the Lothians but others from as far afield as China and Spain.
They are offered both coaching and playing opportunities, with a total of 37 flag/stroke-play events being held this year in the Lothians and Borders.
Now the Foundation is funding the opportunity for its youngsters to enjoy free golf and free practice at the Capital venue.
“I’ve been delighted with the success of the Foundation over the past five years and this tie up with Swanston is really exciting,” said Gallacher, a three-time European Tour winner.
“We were keen to establish a base, where players are able to both play and practise for free, and Swanston ticked all the boxes in our discussions with the club. I sincerely hope the Foundation players now make the most of this incredible opportunity as they bid to improve and get as far as they possibly can in the game.”
Foundation players will enjoy exclusive use of what is known as the Templar Course at Swanston on a Monday through to Thursday each week. Then, on a Saturday and Sunday, it will be available to them between 8am and 10.30am and also after 5pm. An accompanying adult will also be able to play for free, with any subsequent adult in the group paying a £10 green fee to Swanston.
“I think it is vital that we continue to support junior golf and we are privileged and pleased that the Stephen Gallacher Foundation has decided to come on board with us,” said Swanston club captain Graeme Millar.
“I think it is down to the fact that we have great facilities here, with really big plans to improve them, and it is a great opportunity for youngsters to improve their game.”
Scott Knowles, the Foundation’s manager, is hoping the new opportunity will prove popular with existing players and also attract new ones.
“This is looking like another exciting year for the Stephen Gallacher Foundation,” he said. “We currently have over 1000 children registered on our mailing list and the kids come from far and wide.
“When we first began in 2012, we were averaging around 20 kids an event and this has now increased to on average around 60 plus, with the largest local event of 110 and our finals event of 150.
“The main thing for the Foundation is to have fun. We have competitions at every event but the children are never put under pressure on this, only to try and better themselves and smile along the way.”