The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Trophy took the iconic trophy to Loretto School ahead of the tournament, visiting both Junior and Senior Schools as well as Loretto’s new Indoor Golf Centre, due to open in time for the autumn term.
The Scottish Open, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, is one of the richer golf tournaments on the PGA European Tour. The 2015 championship will be played at Gullane Golf Club, just up the road from Loretto, in July this year.
The tournament, a last chance for European Tour players to earn a spot in The Open Championship, traditionally takes place the week before The Open.
Jonathan Hewat, Director of External Affairs at Loretto School, said: “There was much excitement all round and we are most grateful to Mr Alasdair Good, Head PGA Professional at Gullane Golf Club, and the European Tour for arranging for the trophy to visit Loretto. I think there were some very jealous parents that their children got to see the trophy up close!”
The new Loretto Golf Academy Indoor Centre is being built within the school’s former swimming complex and is expected to open in time for the start of the autumn term.
Comprising an indoor driving range, short game facility to include chipping, pitching and putting, putting analysis, an indoor teaching studio complete with video analysis as well as much more besides the centre should reinforce Loretto’s status as one of the top golf facilities of its kind in the UK, whilst also providing an invaluable practice resource for its pupils.
The centre will offer golf to all 600 pupils at Loretto through PE, games and activities. The centre will also improve the coaching and practice facilities for the 50 strong development and senior squad players, offering them the best possible support to take their game to the next level.
Jonathan Hewat, Director of External Affairs, said: “The golf academy at Loretto is a hugely significant project for us to cement our place as the No.1 golf programme within the country. It’s going to be excellent for all the pupils at the school: girls, boys, and particularly the younger ones.
“It’s also going to cement our links with the Scottish Golf Union and, as well as that, be a terrific resource and facility for the whole community.”
Rick Valentine, the director of the Loretto Golf Academy, added: “We need to continue to develop year on year to make sure we stay at the top of schools’ golf and leading the field. This is both in regard to the programmes we are delivering but also the facilities we have on offer to our pupils.
“One of our main focuses at the moment is to increase the availability of golf to all the pupils at the school, to really deliver golf for all. This is really important as we move forward, especially with our younger pupils, to introduce them to a sport that they can be participating in for the rest of their lives.”
One of the many reasons for the development of the indoor centre is the lack of adequate indoor facilities in Scotland and that is something that has previously been identified by the Scottish Golf Performance Director Steve Paulding.
Under the terms of Loretto’s partnership with the SGU, Paulding’s squads will be able to use the centre to practice, which he is delighted about.
“Indoor facilities in Scotland are severely lacking, certainly compared to other countries with similar climates, so the fact that Loretto is putting in a facility like this, where we will be able to be in partnership and access it, is fantastic for Scottish golf,” he said.