Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Stephen Gallacher displays his PGA honorary membership card. Picture by Andy Forman.



Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher capped a fairytale 2014 season by receiving Honorary Membership of the PGA at the Scottish Region’s annual luncheon in Glasgow today.
The world No 35, who was part of Europe’s winning team at Gleneagles in September, was presented with the accolade  in the Hilton Hotel by PGA chairman David Murchie.
Entertaining an audience of close to 700, Gallacher revealed in a Q and A session with Dougie Donnelly the agony he went through straight after narrowly missing out on automatic qualification for the match in Perthshire.
Needing a top-two finish in the Italian Open - the final counting event - the Lothians man shot 65 in both the second and last round, only to end up third behind South African Hennie Otto and Englisham David Howell.
“As I was about to step into the shower after the last round, I was feeling deflated when I was told by Scott Crockett, the European Tour’s Director of Communications, that Paul McGinley wanted to speak to me,” he said.
“When I went outside, Scott told me that Paul was standing under a tree and it was all a bit cloak and dagger.
“I wondered what he was going to tell me but all he said was, ‘well played, you’ve had a good tournament and now you’re going to face the longest day of your life tomorrow’.”
That’s when McGinley and two of his assistant captains, Sam Torrance and Des Smyth, met at Sunningdale to discuss their wild card options, with Gallacher getting the phone call he’d been praying for along with Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.
“I’d really wanted to follow in my uncle Bernard’s footsteps,” he said, “and I knew this match was probably going to be my only chance to do that in Scotland.”
As well as seeing Gallacher being made an Honorary Member, the annual event in Glasgow also saw coveted prizes handed out to David Huish, John Muir and Emma Fairnie.
Huish, a PGA member for 55 years, the majority of which were spent at North Berwick Golf Club, received the John Panton Award for "outstanding services to golf."
“I am so thrilled to receive an award in the name of John Panton as he was my hero,” said the three-times Northern Open champion and five-times winner on the European Senior Tour.

After starting his own PGA career as an assistant at Gullane in 1959, Huish moved through to Hamilton six years later.
But, after just a year at the Lanarkshire venue, he returned to his golfing roots at North Berwick and served as both club pro and course manager there before retiring in 2009.
 “I could not have had a better role model than John Panton,” added Huish after receiving his award from John Mulgrew, chairman of the PGA in Scotland. “He was a great club pro, a fantastic golfer and a real gentleman.
“I learned so much from John and it was also down to him that I rubbed shoulders with so many great players at an early stage in my career.”
During a distinguished Tartan Tour career, Huish won the Scottish Assistants’ Championship, the Scottish PGA Championship and three Northern Opens. Later, he chalked up five victories on the European Senior Tour, four of which were gained in play-offs.
Picking up his latest prize in the game, Huish told onlooking sons Martyn and Oliver: “I hope they have as much enjoyment from being PGA pros as I have.”
Muir received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in the Deer Park course at Livingston, having staged Tartan Tour events for more than 30 years, including the Scottish Under-25s, Scottish PGA Championship and, more recently, the Deer Park Masters.
Fairnie, winner of the Stewart Thom Award for her achievements in the PGA training programme when she was at Gullane, delivered her acceptance speech via video from New Zealand, having moved there to work.



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