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Alexander opens Abernethy practice facility

June 13, 2013

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was on hand to officially cut the ribbon on a brand new practice facility at Abernethy Golf Club.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey was joined by pupils from Abernethy Primary School, who worked with ClubGolf, Scotland's national junior golf programme, coaches to prove how useful the new facility will be to the club.

Designed to improve Abernethy's provision of coaching, including that of ClubGolf, the area will be an important tool for the club in allowing its members to reach their full potential.

Mr Alexander said: "I'm delighted to be able to officially open the new practice facility at Abernethy Golf Club.

"I look forward to seeing the facility help many young golfers reach their potential with the help of ClubGolf and contribute to the future health of the game.

"The sport makes a real contribution to tourism in the Highlands, particularly here in Badenoch and Strathspey. It's fantastic to see our local clubs going from strength to strength.

"The work that the club has done to attract funding from various bodies to create this terrific area will be of benefit to all of its members and Abernethy Golf Club deserves great credit for making this possible." 

To create what is now a spacious area for tuition, the club set about transforming a piece of scrub land, which lay between the first fairway and adjoining road. 

Where once existed land that was put to no significant use now lays a putting green, a chipping area with practice mats and a bunker, and double-bay practice nets.

Delighted by the potential being offered by the new facility, club captain Michael Wright said: " After many years of trying, the club were very happy to receive the opportunity to improve the practice facilities for our juniors in Nethy Bridge. 

"My thanks go to the grant sponsors and also to the Abernethy members who gave over 800 hours of hard work to create this attractive short game facility out of what was once a broom and bramble wilderness. The transformation is truly remarkable."

The project was made possible with funding from sportscotland through its Small Projects Facility Fund, in conjunction with the Scottish Government and European Community LEADER Programme, and supported by the Cairngorms Local Action Group and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

The Cairngorms Local Action Group Grants Manager, Patricia Methven, said "The Local Action Group were delighted to support such a forward-looking project in support of the young people and visitors learning golf in the area; already this nine-hole course in Nethy Bridge has nurtured a youth member of the Scottish team and hopefully many more in the future!"

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: "sportscotland was delighted to invest £11,866 to help Abernethy Golf Club further improve their facilities and develop a new outdoor practise component.

"We work closely with Scottish Golf and invest £500,000 per year into ClubGolf, so it is especially pleasing to see such close connections between the club and the local primary school, as many pupils will have the opportunity to hone their golf skills on this new practise area.

"Next year's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles provides an excellent opportunity for golf in Scotland to continue its development, and this project at Abernethy Golf Club is a good example of the sport reaching out to local communities."

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