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Golf: Tributes for North-east District stalwart Jim Hunter

Jim Hunter, right, with Tom Watson after his Senior British Open win at Royal Aberdeen in 2005
Jim Hunter, right, with Tom Watson after his Senior British Open win at Royal Aberdeen in 2005

Tributes have been paid to former North-east District Golf Association president Jim Hunter who passed away last week.

Peterculter-born Jim, 74, loved his golf both as a player and organiser and that enthusiasm was overwhelming for the District and as president at Ballater Golf Club.

“We have lost an enthusiastic and genuine club, district and national golf ambassador,” said North-east District secretary George Young.

“Jim was first elected to the North-east District committee 14 years ago and I soon forged a close-working relationship with him.

“It led to a great friendship and I find it particularly sad that Jim is no longer with us.

“Jim was heavily involved in golf administration and had several roles culminating with him becoming president from 2013 until 2015.

“I am sure I speak for committee members, past and present, in mourning one of the friendliest, hard-working and respected individuals to have served our committee.

“On behalf of all the golfers in the North-east District, I pass on condolences to Jim’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Scottish Golf president David Fleming said: “Jim helped run the amateur game in the area for many years and will be sadly missed particularly in senior circles which he focused on in recent years.”

Ballater secretary Colin Smith said: “Jim was extremely popular and will be sadly missed by everyone at the club.

“Everything he did was done in the best interests of the club he loved.

“Jim gave his full commitment to every task undertaken – never missing a meeting and always turning out to assist at open competitions and prize-givings.”

Jim Hunter with his daughter Jaimie at the Open

Jim served as gent’s vice-captain for two years from 2005 before becoming captain.

He was Ballater president twice (2009-2011 and 2019-) and latterly the main organiser for the North East Scottish Senior Golf Association.

Jim is survived by his wife Liz and daughter Jaimie.

The funeral will be held at Baldarroch Crematorium at Crathes on Thursday, November 18 at 11.30am, to which all friends are respectfully invited.

Additional coaching sessions at Kings Links Golf Centre

Demand for free junior coaching has led to additional sessions being put on by the Kings Links Golf Centre.

An initiative had been launched by the centre, Sport Aberdeen and the North-east District Golf Association before the pandemic lockdowns.

The good news is sessions planned for this month have proved so popular additional blocks will be added in February and March.

Kings Links Junior Fund chairman Chris Law said: “It’s a continuation of the work we were doing prior to Covid, trying to provide youngsters of all backgrounds and abilities access to the sport.

“The north-east has seen an alarming decline in junior membership and participation in the last decade so we teamed up with Sport Aberdeen and the North-east District to try to get more kids in the city swinging a golf club.

“In the 15 months before Covid, we managed to fund 372 hours of junior coaching for schools, group coaching at the centre and on course coaching at the Kings Links and Hazlehead.

“This equates to just over 1,000 primary school children seen in schools with about 300 kids coming to the Kings Links Golf Centre for further coaching.

“Obviously Covid has created issues for us with running group coaching sessions and hosting events and tournaments to raise the funds we need to pay for it all.

“It will take us a bit of time to get fully operational again, but that is certainly the intention.

“The demand for the coaching in November has already exceeded our expectations so we will be running more blocks in February and March.

“Hopefully, we can get some events in the diary for 2022 to raise the funds to pay for the coaching, too.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to help pay for the coaching can contact Chris at Chris.Law@kings-links.com.

Winter investment for municipal courses

Golf Aberdeen is to invest £150,000 on Aberdeen’s municipal courses during the winter.

The work at Hazlehead, Kings Links and Nigg Bay will include tree management, bunker revetting, drainage work, gorse removal and investment in machinery.

Fairway drainage measure, which will span 10 weeks, will be carried out at eight holes on the Mackenzie course at Hazlehead.

Improvements at the Kings Links will include revetting and sand replacement in bunkers, as well as drainage work at the 13th hole.

Bunkers at the fourth, sixth and 15th at Nigg Bay will also be revetted.

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