Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SCOTTISH POLICE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2007 - Strathclyde finalise venues for championship next year

The 83rd Scottish Police Golf Championships will be held from Monday 3rd to Wednesday 5th September 2007, and will be hosted by Strathclyde Police at two of the premier courses on the Ayrshire coast at Irvine (Bogside) and West Kilbride.

Irvine Golf Club, founded in 1887, play over the 6400 yard, par 71, links course at Bogside, Irvine.

The classic links course, redesigned in 1912 by Open Champion Harold Hilton, and again in 1926 by another Open Champion, the great James Braid has all the attributes associated with links golf, including tight fairways, whins, blind shots, fast and true greens and well placed bunkers that punish the wayward golfer.

The standard of test provided by the course, which unusually has only two par threes, has brough many local and national championships to the club over the years, and the course has been regularly used as a final qualifying course for the Open Championships at Royal Troon and Turnberry, having recently been confirmed as such once more, for the Open Championship scheduled for Turnberry in 2009.

Irvine Golf Club has produced many a fine golfer over the years, including the Scottish Amateur winning Triumvirate, who are legend not only in Ayrshire but in Scottish amateur golf circles.

Hammy McInally took the Scottish title three times in 1937, 1939 and 1947 whilst former policeman Jimmy Walker won the title in 1961, a year when he also reached the final of the Amateur Championship at Turnberry, where he lost out to (Sir) Michael Bonallack, and was subsequently selected for the Walker Cup team.

The third member of the club to take the national title, in 1969, was Jackie Cannon , who still remains the oldest winner of the Scottish Championship to date.

The Bogside course will undoubtedly test all the skills of the competitors in the annual championships, whilst providing a most enjoyable experience of championship links golf.

West Kilbride, founded in 1893, will provide no less of a test or enjoyable experience for the competitors in the 2007 championship.

The most northerly of Ayrshire's true links courses, at 5974 yard with a par of 70, West Kilbride occupies a narrow strip of links land and raised beach, with superb views over Arran and the Firth of Clyde.

The course, designed by Open Champion James Braid, is exposed to even the slightest breeze and the wind strength and direction can add to a demanding but enjoyable test for all levels of golfer.

The reputation and quality of the course has lead to many local and national championships being played over the course, including the Scottish Youths and Scottish Ladies Championships, and since the early 1990's West Kilbride has been a regular venue for the Scottish Boys Championship, including the 2006 championship to be played in April.

Strathclyde Police are very grateful to the Committee and members of both the Irvine and West Kilbride clubs for agreeing to host the 2007 Championship and have little doubt that two such quality venues will be eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by the competitors in the 83rd Scottish Police Championship.

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