Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gordon Goldie returns to Gleneagles for PGA 

Super-60s Championship this week
Gordon Goldie, Scot who owns and runs successful Chingford Golf Range, Essex

As a youngster in 1964, Gordon Goldie’s mother packed him off to play Gleneagle’s King’s and Queen’s courses in Perthshire.
It’s a memory that still burns brightly for the Chingford Golf Range owner who has returned over the border to his native Scotland to compete in the PGA Super 60s on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Essex-based Goldie teams up with long time playing partner Geoff King for another tilt at the £10,000 title and he’s looking forward to going back to Gleneagles
“I had a day out there and I remember my mother giving me a pound note and the green fees for playing both the King’s and Queen’s came to 17/6d which left me half a crown for lunch and I had a feast,” recalled Goldie.
“Gleneagles was always an elite place and the Queen’s course is what golf in the Highlands is all about, great course architecture and wonderful surroundings.
With seven decades on the clock, Goldie could be forgiven for slowing down in his professional life but he’s never been busier with ambitious plans for Chingford Golf Range.
“I founded it in 1974 and I’m working harder than ever,” he said.
“At the time there was only one other driving range in London - at Finchley. It provided  something that golfers in that area badly needed because a lot of the golf clubs built around the turn of the century didn’t have practice grounds – they just had a clubhouse and 18 holes.
“The range is still very popular. I’ve seen the highs and lows of golf – the highs of the 80s and the lows around the turn of the century.
“With time a factor, there are some people who have more time to hit a bucket of balls for an hour than they do to spend five hours playing golf on a course.
“We are making the range look like a golf course. I’ve got nine greens and nine bunkers so people can effectively play a round of golf at the driving range.”
Goldie’s hectic work schedule means he has not had time to practise as much as he would have liked for the sentimental trip back to Gleneagles but he’s happy being busy.
“I’ve got a briefcase in one hand and a set of golf clubs in the other and I’m happy carrying both,” he added.
“I oversee everything at the range and am very much hands on. You can’t delegate too much because you have to be there for the customer to see you and for me to see and talk to the customer and find out what they like.”
For two days however, Goldie won’t be in Essex but north of the border, reliving his youth at the stunning Gleneagles resort.



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