Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Golf sponsors for individuals or tournaments in Scotland - and, to be fair, anywhere in the UK in these years of Recession - are hard to find.
But Banchory Golf Club's tour pro, Greig Hutcheon, is bucking the trend.
"Having had such a good season last year has helped me generate great support for the coming season," says Greig.
"Winning the Tartan Tour Order of Merit, including the Northern Open at Meldrum House (pictured above with the trophy), as well as being the Professional Golfers Association's No 1 player through winning the PGA play-offs at Little Aston last November have had potential sponsors if not flocking to my door, at least being far more receptive to approaches than they might have been otherwise.
"For the coming season I will use the Saltire Energy golf bag; Anderson, Anderson and Brown are sponsoring my cap; Thistle Windows are supplying my car, and the name of Coretrax Technology, where I have been working for the past two winters, are on my shirts and sweaters.
"This gives me a fantastic platform for the 2011 season which looks very promising. I will be playing in European Tour events such as the PGA championship at Wentworth, the Welsh Open, the Barclays Scottish Open at Castle Stuart and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
"I will also play a number of European Challenge Tour Events as well as a full schedule on the Tartan Tour, where I will be aiming to become the first player ever to win the Order of Merit title four times, having captured it in 2006, 2007 and 2010."
Hutcheon will make his seasonal debut in the Castle Stuart Invitational pro-am at the splendid new venue between Nairn and Inverness on April 10 and 11 with the first Tartan Tour Order of Merit event on April 19 at Whitekirk.
Now in his mid-30s, Banchory-based Greig has become a family man within the past year or two - wife Gillian and baby Murray waiting at home for him - so the days when he used to swan off to the Algarve to spend the winter practising near Penina have long gone. He still has an inner belief  that, on his game, he has the skill to hold his own at European Tour level. Earning playing rights for it is the difficult part.
Hutch will have plenty of opportunities to prove that this summer when he rubs shoulders with the "big boys." If he could string four good rounds together in the PGA championship or the Barclays Scottish Open, who knows to what that could lead. 
One thing is certain, he will go through the £100,000 prizemoney barrier on the Tartan Tour alone during the 2011 season. Since he turned pro, the former Scotland youth cap has earned £99,023 and 66p in PGA Scottish Region events alone.

Comment from Murdo McQuordale, head pro at Golfitas:

Well done, Greig on finally getting what you deserve out of this game and congratulations on your form over the past few years. With your talent it’s a shame that you weren’t getting such sponsorship deals 10 – 15 years ago  but it’s never too late. Keep yer hied doon and see you soon.
Your old friend, Murdo."



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