In our North-east roundup, Ronnie McDonald shares his enduring passion for golf, and we catch up with Louise Anderson, who secured her eighth Duff House Royal ladies’ championship.
Ronnie McDonald, the pro at Newmachar Golf Club, still experiences the same excitement for golf as he did when he began his professional journey alongside Harry Bannerman in the 1970s. Recently, he received a prestigious award from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) for his 50 years of dedication to the sport.
Reflecting on his love for golf, Ronnie said, “I have loved golf all my life. I started as a Bon Accord junior member and was working as a milkman when I wrote a letter to Harry when he was in Banchory asking him for a job, and – fortunately for me – he said yes.”
Despite the early morning commutes, Ronnie cherished every moment and went on to have a successful playing career, participating in The Open at Muirfield in 1972 with Lee Trevino and at Carnoustie in 1975 with Tom Watson. He kicked off his European Tour journey in 1979 and regularly clinched victories on the Tartan Tour and other regional tournaments.
Ronnie expressed his surprise at receiving the award, saying, “I got a letter a few weeks ago informing me I was going to receive some kind of recognition. When I got the plaque, I took it in to show the lassies at Newmachar. They took a picture and put it on Facebook, which I don’t really use. But then in the morning, there were over 100 messages of support, which really surprised me. There were comments from all over the world – it was superb reading their kind words.”
He emphasized, “I still get the buzz talking about the golf swing after all these years. It’s like a drug to me.”
In a separate golfing achievement, Louise Anderson secured her eighth Duff House Royal Golf Club ladies’ championship title. As an IT network project manager, Louise, aged 40 and with a handicap of five, stated, “I won this year’s club championship by 12 shots, which was pleasing as I lost out in a play-off last season.”
She continued, “I opened with a first round of 75 but added an awful second round of 86. However, I managed to recover with another 75 in the third round. We are a close group of ladies at Duff House, and it’s great to have such good competition for the event.”
Louise looks forward to competing in the Champion of Champions next year and representing her club in this prestigious competition. She expressed her pride, saying, “I’m proud to be ladies’ champion and to represent my club in this competition. The event is fantastically run by the team.”
Lastly, there were notable hole-in-ones at Murcar Links, with William Fyfe achieving his sixth ace on the 160-yard 16th hole, using a number-five hybrid. This achievement means he has now accomplished holes-in-one on all the par threes on the course. Malcolm Crombie, another club member, also accomplished his sixth hole-in-one when acing the 155-yard 12th hole with an eight-iron while playing with Allan Gardner.
Due to wet underfoot conditions, the upcoming North-east Alliance meeting at Banchory has been relocated to Newburgh.