20th anniversary

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The 20th Grampian Houston Junior Golf Annual Dinner was held last month at the Marcliffe Hotel following their pro-am tournament which took place at Royal Aberdeen.

Founder, former Banchory man Bruce Davidson, was in attendance and he also picked up the Aberdeen Sports Council Coach of the Year award.

Grampian Houston Junior Golf, which is the most successful golf scholarship programme in Scotland, gives young golfers from the North-east scholarship opportunities in the USA, studying at college or university while playing competitive golf.

The programme is a non-profit organisation which raises money through an annual pro-am tournament and has led almost 100 of the North-east’s young golfers make the trip to the States. Around 40 of those have gone on to win golf scholarships with American colleges.

Bruce Davidson, although born in Aberdeen, was brought up in Banchory when his family moved to Ramsay Road in 1968 and he went on to study at Banchory Academy.

Bruce was taught his golf at Banchory Golf Club where he became junior champion, club champion and an open champion. At the age of 17, he left for Houston on a four year golf scholarship at St Thomas University in 1978 and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business and Economics.

As a student at the university, Bruce helped at River Oaks Country Club in Houston. He assisted the late Dick Harman, a member of the well-known American golfing family, whose father was a winner of the famous Green Jacket at the Masters.

Bruce was invited to apply for the role of director of golf when Dick retired and became the first non-American to take up the position at River Oaks.

Bruce, who now coaches former Open champion Mark O’Meara, is based in Houston with his family but his parents still live in Deeside.