Wednesday, March 13, 2013


LEFT TO RIGHT:  Gordon Sinclair (managing partner), Bill Hogg and Gordon Nicoll. Image by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

Three sporting hoteliers, two of whom have played golf at international level, are to put up two £10,000 prizes for holes in one at forthcoming Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Scottish Ladies Open Tour competitions.
Bill Hogg, Gordon Nicoll and Gordon Sinclair are partners in ownership of the Atholl Hotel on the Aberdeen's Kings Gate.
Mr Nicoll is also sole owner of the Dutch Mill Hotel in Aberdeen's Queens Road.
Mr Hogg, a member of Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, was a Great Britain & Ireland boy international in the Jacques Leglise Trophy match against the Continent of Europe when he was a teenager. He was also playing team captain for Scotland against England in the 1962 boys' international match.
Mr Nicol, a Deeside Golf Club member, was also capped for Scotland at boy international level in 1971.
Between the three of them, however, the sum total of personal holes in one is ONE!
"Gordon Nicoll has had our only hole-in-one - while on a golf holiday some time ago in Florida. I have never accomplished the feat even once despite plenty of near-misses over the near 60 years since I took up the game!" said Mr Hogg.
"I still live in hope that it will happen one day but time is running out!   "Gordon Sinclair is a very occasional player and, less surprisingly, has also never had a hole-in-one."
Paul Lawrie, who has had four holes in one in competition, certainly knows what it feels like to hit the jackpot.
"I got one of my aces in the 2009 Irish Open and it won me 40,000 Euros. Not bad for just one stroke!" said Paul.
The odds against a hole in one being achieved are not as high as one might think. Actuaries at insurance companies who offer prize indemnification services have calculated the chances of an "average golfer" holing his or her tee shot at a par-3 hole at 12,500 to 1. For a tour professional golfer, the odds come down to 2,500 to 1.
The Atholl Hotel will be the name sponsor of the £10,000 ace prize in the PLGC SLOT 18-hole competition at Trump International Links on the Menie Estate, 12 months up the coast from Aberdeen., on Monday, May 6.
The par-3 hole selected by Messrs Hogg, Nicoll and Sinclair is the 16th. The female professionals and amateurs will be playing from the white tees from which the hole measures 157 yards.
Christopher Campbell, head pro at Trump International, says: "We had four holes in one in our short July to October opening season last year. One of them was at the 16th but no lady has had a hole in one on our course yet."
The Trump links re-opens on April 11 after being closed since the end of October. Incidentally, the visitor's green fee for the new season will be £195 per person on a week day and £215 per person at the weekend.
But the Trump management have given the Paul Lawrie Ladies Tour the courtesy of the course, including free use of the practice facilities, so for the £50 entry fee, the girls have got a bargain.
The Dutch Mill Hotel will be the name sponsor of the £10,000 prize for an ace at the Paul Lawrie Tour event on May 7 at Deeside Golf Club.
Both these Aberdeen hotels are are offering discounted room rates for competitors in the Trump International and Deeside PLGC SLOT events - £75 per twin-bedded room, the deal includes bed and breakfast. 
When making their reservation, players must identify themselves as competitors on the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Scottish Ladies Open Tour.
To find out more details - the bookings have to be made no later than 10 days prior to the tournaments in question - log on to and click on the heading TOURNAMENT INFORMATION.
"I would say, on average we have from three to five holes in one at Deeside during a year ... but I cannot remember one at the first in competitive play," said Frank Coutts, the Deeside GC Director of Golf.
The competitors will be playing off the Yellow Tees at the Bieldside course and the hole in one prize will be up for grabs at the first hole which measures 177 yards.
"We think the idea of a Paul Lawrie-backed tour for lady professionals and single-figure handicap amateurs is an excellent idea and we are delighted to be able to play a small part in it when two of its events are staged in the North-east," said Mr Hogg.
"The odds are very much against anyone getting a hole in one, especially with the two fields around the 30-player mark but it does add a bit of spice to both days' play.
"With that in mind, if nobody has a hole in one, there will be a nearest-the-pin consolation £100 prize at the Trump International 16th and also at Deeside's first. If an amateur wins either of these awards it will be in the form of a £100 voucher."
Incidentally, amateur competitors, as well as professionals, are now permitted to accept a one-off prize - no limit on its value - for a hole in one. The Rules of Amateur Status, at their last revision, brought this major change into effect.
The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Scottish Ladies Open Tour - PLGC SLOT for short - is the brainchild of veteran golfwriter Colin Farquharson. His co-organiser is Nicola Melville, the only PGA lady teaching professional at St Andrews. 

Recap of the 2013 inaugural Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Scottish Ladies Open Tour schedule (total prize money in excess of £30,000).
18 Marriott Dalmahoy East Course, Edinburgh (£3,000).
19 Ratho Park, Edinburgh (£3,000)
6 Saltire Energy Classic 1 @ Trump International Links (12 miles north of Aberdeen) (£3,500)
7 Saltire Energy Classic 2 @ Deeside GC, Aberdeen (£3,500)
6-7 Saltire Energy Championship (prizes for leading aggregates from scores at both courses) (£1,250).
2 Downfield, Dundee, Angus (£2,250)
3 Carnoustie Burnside, Angus (£2,250)
11 Blairgowrie Rosemount, Perthshire (£2,250).
12 Alyth, Perthsire (£2,250)
26 Fairmont St Andrews Torrance Course, Fife (£2,250)
27 The Duke's, St Andrews. Fife (£2,250)
23 Haggs Castle, Glasgow (£2,250)
24 Drumpellier, Glasgow (£2,250)
7 Craigielaw, East Lothian (£2,250)
9-10 Marriott Dalmahoy East Course Tour Championship (36 holes, two days) (£5,000).

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