04 Feb 14
The PGA in Scotland is setting the standard for women’s golf by taking the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Ladies Tartan Tour under its umbrella.
It will be the first of the PGA's seven regions to run both men's and women's professional circuits from its headquarters at Gleneagles.
It is a feather in the cap of Brian Mair, appointed PGA in Scotland secretary last year, and he is excited that The PGA in Scotland will have the opportunity to lead the way forward.
He said: "The PGA in Scotland is committed to providing all our members with professional, competitive playing opportunities throughout the country and we very much look forward to supporting ladies golf during 2014 and beyond.
“This represents an important step in our quest to promote the game to all sectors of the community and to reach as wide an audience as possible".
The Ladies Tartan Tour Director is PGA teaching professional and qualified rules referee Nicola Melville. She cut her teeth on the inaugural Paul Lawrie domestic circuit last year when she also worked as a referee on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
She said: "We are delighted to have the sponsorship from the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre again and look forward to working with the PGA in Scotland to support ladies golf in Scotland. The tour is open to all female professionals and amateurs with single-figure handicaps. It is not restricted to Scottish-based players”.
There will be five 36-hole stroke-play tournaments, each over two days, at high profile Scottish venues - Fairmont St Andrews, Murcar Links, Dundonald Links, Macdonald Cardrona and Marriott Dalmahoy. Each will have a prizefund of £6,000.
The first event will be held at Fairmont St Andrews in April and the last - the Tour Championship - at Marriott Dalmahoy in September when Heather MacRae, above, will be defending the handsome trophy, donated by Aberdeen hotel owner Stewart Spence.
Paul Lawrie has been instrumental in the Ladies Tartan Tour switching its emphasis from one-round to 36-hole events.
"We want to provide a platform for the lady pros and amateurs to prepare for the day when they tackle the Q School and beyond by getting them used to playing two-round tournaments," he explained.
"There is nothing wrong with 18-hole events but a different mindset is required by a player for competitions over two rounds or more. That is one of the reasons why I started the Paul Lawrie Invitational at Deeside on the men's Tartan Tour which is dominated by one-day pro-ams."
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