24 Aug 18
When Julie Otto says something has impressed her in golf, ears should be pricking up.
We are talking, after all, about a former English and British international who was secretary/CEO of the LGU then had a spell with the R&A before carving out a career for herself as an award-winning PGA Professional.
In short, she knows the game inside out, so to hear her singing the praises of the work being done by the St Regulus Ladies' Golf Club in St Andrews in trying to grow the game really does merit some attention.
"In my years of being involved in the game, from player to administrator to professional, I have never come across a golf club so engaging with new members of all ages and abilities," said Otto.
"St Regulus is really very innovative in the ways in which it supports the traditions of its club and providing an engaging and friendly approach to new golfers. Always a delicate balance which it manages very well."
Founded in 1913, St Regulus Ladies Golf Club now has more than 300 lady members and 35 junior girls from St Andrews and beyond.
"The ladies' section has a busy schedule with medals and competitions running throughout the year. We also run many fun events – texas scrambles, fun tri-ams and Pinehurst," said
vice captain Rhoda Wilson.
"The junior section has grown in recent years and they, too, have a wide and varied programme, including a range of fun golfing events.
"In addition, we also try and encourage family golf. In recent years our mother and daughter golf competitions and our family golf evening have proved very popular. Playing in these fun events allows families to spend quality time together in the fresh air.
"In order to make golf fun, we regularly organise an away day for the juniors to the nine-hole course at Gleneagles.
"The ongoing success of our junior section is very important to the club and, as a result, this year we have had a successful taster golf event and in the coming weeks will be holding a 'bring a friend to golf' event."
Like all the clubs in St Andrews, St Regulus is a golf club without a course. Members play over the St Andrews Links and they have a clubhouse just around the corner from the 18th hole on the Old Course.
Coaching is provided by Otto at Elie Sports Club, where the 2015 Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year is based. The nine-hole Braid Course there also hosts those fun events.
"I have been involved in offering golf coaching to the ladies and providing sessions for the juniors for a few years now," she said.
"There has been a significant increase in the number of girls engaging with the game in St Andrews but this has been in no small part the result of Rhoda Wilson's extensive work in promoting the game and the club to new young players."
According to Wilson, Otto plays an equal part in the club's success. "As a successful lady golfer, having played in five Curtis Cups, there is no doubt that Julie is a great role model for the girls," she said.
"Over the years the club has produced several Scottish champions and our current junior section has many worthy winners amongst them."
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