Stephen Gallacher 'overwhelmed' by £82,000 boost for his foundation

Stephen Gallacher has vowed to keep teeing up opportunities for youngsters in the Lothians through his junior foundation, which has just received a huge financial boost on the back of turning ten.

Thursday, 5th May 2022, 6:00 am

But the four-time European Tour winner reckons the Stephen Gallacher Foundation is going from strength to strength thanks to the likes of Grace Crawford inspiring the next generation of young talent in the Edinburgh area.

For the first time since 2019, Gallacher welcomed guests to a fund-raising dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel last week, when an evening hosted by golf broadcaster Iona Stephen saw Bob MacIntyre and Olympic curling gold medallist Vicky Wright as the star interviewees.

Mainly through auctions, the event raised £82,383 on the night, which will go towards the foundation running a whole series of events - both fun and competitive - for youngsters on Gallacher’s home patch.

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Host Iona Stephen, Bob MacIntyre, Stephen Gallacher and Vicky Wright at the Stephen Gallacher Foundation dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh. Picture: Bounce Sport

“It was overwhelming for me,” admitted the current Hero Indian Open champion. “It was great to have Bob and Vicky there, as well as Iona as the host and Eric Davidson entertaining everyone.

“To get 300 people was brilliant and a lot of those people had been committed from 2020, when the dinner had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic and then couldn’t be held last year for the same reason.

“It’s massive for us as it gives us our budget for the year. It means we can keep expanding and keep doing the right things. At the end of the day, the kids are the ones that are going to benefit.”

Scott Knowles and Stuart Johnston are in charge of the day-to-day running of the foundation while Jane Connachan is involved in the bulk of the coaching, which includes groups of local schoolchildren.

“I take a lot of pride in it and it’s a real team effort,” added Gallacher. “You want to try and help kids as they carve out a career in golf and it’s great to see some of them making real headway at the moment.

“Ultimately, though, it’s about giving them an opportunity and feeling comfortable during whatever journey they take in golf and have plenty of miles under their belt.”

Crawford, one of the foundation’s ambassadors, recently won both the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open at just 15 then backed that up by adding the R&A Girls’ Under-16 Amateur.

“The thing I am loving is that all the kids who are doing well are giving back,” said Gallacher. “They are mentoring even younger kids and it gives the younger kids something to aspire to.

“I used to aspire to be Sandy Lyle or Sam Torrance when I was a kid and, when you have young kids seeing Grace win events like the Helen Holm and R&A Under-16s, it’s just going to inspire another generation.”

A video played at the dinner was narrated by foundation member Carys Irvine, who is being mentored by Stephen as she targets a career in broadcasting.

“I had a lot of people come up to me on the night and comment on how brilliantly Carys spoke and that’s what golf can provide,” said Gallacher, who is playing in this week’s Betfred British Maste4rs.

“Iona has taken Carys under her wing and then Carys has taken others under her wing in a snowball effect, which is great.”

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