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Golf: Alford’s Callum Coutts switches attention from birdies to breeding show pigeons

Read the north-east golfing latest with Alan Brown.
Read the north-east golfing latest with Alan Brown.

There’s little doubt who is top of the pecking order at Alford Golf Club.

Callum Coutts, 24,  has won the club championship at the Aberdeenshire club five times in eight attempts.

But Callum admits his focus switches at this time of year to his other passion of breeding show pigeons.

“When I’m not playing golf, I am breeding and showing pigeons,” said Callum, who works for a local roofing firm.

“Along with my father, Gary and brother Craig, we travel the country from late in the year until next month showing our much-loved pigeons.

Alford golfer Callum Coutts is a pigeon breeder

“Once the showing is over, we turn our attention to breeding the next crop of youngsters to potentially find our next superstar.

“I’ve been involved with them since the age of eight and wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Dual roles having no adverse affect on the golf course

The fact Callum can divide his time between his two passions demonstrates his skill on the golf course.

He even strolled to his biggest winning margin in the championship this season, sauntering to an eight-shot success.

After securing a six-stroke advantage following opening rounds of 70 and 66, the result was never in doubt over the final two rounds.

“I’m Alford born-and-bred and it always means a lot me to play in the championship,” he added.

“I feel I tend to get the best out of my game when the tournament comes around every year.

“It wasn’t my best season and quite frustrating really ,but not for a lack of playing.

“I try to play at least four times a week.

“That said, I played in the matchplay and strokeplay senior/junior competitions and managed to win both with my partner Alfie Nicol.

“I’m still eager to get some work done this winter with my coach Andrew Locke and hopefully push on to reduce my handicap.

“I entered this season at a handicap best of 1.4, but it has slowly crept up to 2.4, so I’d like to rectify that.

“I would also like to enter a little more of the bigger events around the area.

“It’s always good to see some familiar faces and to see if I can match up with the best the north-east has to offer.

“I have played in the Evening Express Champion of Champions a few times.

“It’s a fantastic competition which gets the best golfers around the north-east in a one v one situation.

“You don’t get this opportunity anywhere else and it’s a great way to meet other players.

“I don’t think I’ve ever managed to win more than two matches so far, but here’s hoping I can change that next season.”

Pines course at Hazlehead reopens after Storm Arwen

Hazlehead golfers received good news at the weekend when the Pines course reopened after being closed by Storm Arwen.

However, the MacKenzie Championship remains closed after suffering more extensive tree damage.

Storm Arwen damage at Hazlehead.

The Pines is expected to be restricted to just 16 or 17 holes with temporary greens to allow rotational clearing work.

The MacKenzie course requires major repairs at the first three holes as well as the 17th and 18th.

Golf Aberdeen said repairs will be dependent on weather, but they hope to get both courses open at the earliest opportunity.

Maitland Shield draw revealed

Murcar Links will start the defence of this season’s Maitland Shield against Craibstone at Newmachar next year.

The Bridge of Don club has had a stranglehold on the competition as they will be attempting to win the trophy for the eighth time in 15 years.

The foursomes tournament, run under the auspices of the Aberdeen Pennant League, will be staged over the Swailend course from Monday, May 9, through to the final on Friday, May 13.

Royal Aberdeen will face Peterculter in the opening match on the first night before hosts Newmachar line up against Nigg Bay.

Deeside, who lost to Murcar Links by three holes in this season’s final at Nigg Bay, have received a first-round bye and await the winners between Royal Aberdeen and Peterculter.

MAITLAND SHIELD FIXTURES 2022

MONDAY, MAY 8 (from 5.06pm)

FIRST ROUND

Royal Aberdeen v Peterculter; Newmachar v Nigg Bay; Banchory v Bon Accord; Caledonian v Auchmill.

TUESDAY, MAY 9

FIRST ROUND

Northern v Stonehaven; Craibstone v Murcar Links; Portlethen v Hazlehead.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 10

SECOND ROUND

Deeside v Royal Aberdeen or Peterculter; Newmachar or Nigg Bay v Banchory or Bon Accord; Caledonian or Auchmill v Northern or Stonehaven; Craibstone or Murcar Links v Portlethen or Hazlehead.

THURSDAY, MAY 11

SEMI-FINALS (5.06pm and 5.17pm)

FRIDAY, MAY 12

FINAL (5.06pm).

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