The new golf season is fast approaching, and significant changes have occurred in the management team at Aboyne Golf Club.
Having successfully guided the club through its recent annual general meeting, president Scott Mackie stands down, with Justin Grant taking over and Nigel Bradburn moving up to be vice-president.
Justin paid tribute to his predecessor: “2017 was a year of significant restructuring as we repositioned Aboyne Golf Club to operate in a challenging new era. Scott has done a great job guiding the club through some very tough decisions and necessary changes to ensure we are in good shape to take the club forward.
“Having grown up in Aboyne and joined the club as a junior, it is indeed a great honour to now be elected as president.
“We, together with numerous other golf and sports clubs, have enormous challenges in today’s economic climate dictating we must be prudent, whilst also ensuring the club’s growing reputation and national standing are maintained and pushed forward.”
Justin elaborated: “Key to this vision was the appointment of Fraser Dunlop as our new director of golf in December having moved from his role as PGA National Academy manager at Gleneagles.
“Already Fraser is making a significant impact on our club as we endeavour to attract more young people and novice adults to our sport.
“We have an exceptionally busy and exciting season lined up with fun competitions and events to attract all ages and abilities to the club as well as hosting flagship tournaments on behalf of Scottish Golf and the R&A.”
In further changes, John Sutherland takes on the club captaincy with newly appointed finance convenor Brian Kinkead as his vice-captain.
John said: “I am thoroughly looking forward to the season ahead, and outgoing captain Dan Broadhead has done a great job securing the prestigious Scottish Golf North-East District Gents Open to be held at Aboyne this year.
“It will be fantastic to see the leading amateurs play our course.”
Liz Taylor assumes the ladies’ club captaincy from Sandra Findlay with Janice Innes appointed vice-captain.
“It is a great privilege to be elected ladies captain of such a long-standing club that Aboyne is with all its history and community spirit,” Liz said. “I want to thank Sandra for all her hard work over the past two years attracting major ladies’ competitions to the club.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by the R&A to host the coveted LGU Coronation Foursomes Regional Finals which will bring top lady golfers from across Scotland to play our course.”
Keith Gardiner continues in his second term as gents seniors captain whist Scott Mackie continues in the role of junior convenor as well as becoming the house convenor. Scott will be overseeing recently appointed club caterer Colin Redman, whose company Cecil & Mearns were awarded the bar & catering franchise.
“Colin and his team are already building up a great reputation for their food and we are keen to attract more local social members to the club to use our wonderful panoramic facilities,” Scott said.
Meanwhile, greens convenor David Munro said: “Despite the challenging weather our head greenkeeper Colin Forbes and his team have done a great job undertaking an extensive tree management programme over the winter months. With such a high-profile season ahead it is good to see the course recovering and looking in great condition.”
Justin concluded: “As with all major restructuring programmes there are necessary personnel changes and we thank outgoing managing secretary Allan Taylor and PGA professional Steven Moir for their service to the club.
“I would also like to recognise the significant contribution made by finance convenor Ian Anderson.
“We want to continue to attract a wider and more diverse audience – younger generations, families, women and those that see our golf club not purely as a venue to play golf but also as a key social hub for the community, and we extend an invitation to everyone to come and view our facilities.
“The 2018 season is shaping up to be a particularly busy one on and off the course.”