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Carnoustie Links launches strategy for a new generation of elite standard junior players

Links House at Carnoustie.
Links House at Carnoustie.

Carnoustie Golf Links are launching a new High Performance Programme for junior golfers to build a new generation of local players competing in national events.

The Carnoustie Craws High Performance Programme is the latest element in the Links’ ambitious junior development strategy, led by head professional Keir McNicoll.

The plan is to focus on the development of some of the more than 300 players in the Links’ already established Under 12s and Under 18s squads with a view to them competing successfully in Scottish and British amateur championships and beyond.

Work ethic and desire

The Carnoustie High Performance squads consist of players who have reached the handicap index or On Course Pathway criteria set out by the Links.

But importantly, they have also been identified as having the necessary work ethic and desire to push themselves in golf.

The whole programme, including coaching and access to the facilities will be fully funded by Carnoustie Golf Links. The programme also has the continued support from The R&A, and there will be no cost to the junior golfers involved.

McNcioll was himself an elite standard player as an amateur. He was capped by Scotland and competed in national and international events.

“This new programme feels like a natural evolution of our Golf Development here at Carnoustie,” he said.

“Our participation programme has grown dramatically over the past few years. It has done so because of the committed effort from everyone involved, from our hard-working volunteers to the junior golfers themselves.

“Based on the success of this participation programme, we are now ready to expand our coaching commitments. This step will focus more attention on the performance aspect of the game.”

Junior internationals and beyond

The goal of the High Performance Programme is to produce Scottish Junior International calibre golfers. But the hope is that they will have the potential to further their career in golf beyond that level.

Those chosen to be part of this squad will be required to provide a certain level of commitment.

But they’ll also have the full support of the team at Carnoustie Golf Links on their journey.

“The programme will support each player to achieve their individual goals,” continued McNicoll.

“We want to dive deeper into the technical, tactical, physical, and psychological attributes required to be a high performing junior golfer.”

The Links will provide the structured framework for each player. There will be a minimum number of group training sessions per week plus individual coaching with Carnoustie’s PGA Professionals.

They will also be given support with tournament preparation. Access to other industry professionals to help achieve performance targets will also be provided.

‘We’re fiercely passionate about growing the game’

Michael Wells, chief executive of the links, said growing a new generation of elite players would maintain the rich heritage of Carnoustie golf.

“Carnoustie is not willing to take its foot off the pedal when it comes to growing the game,” he said.

“We’re very aware that there are a wealth of opportunities within the sport. We want to open doors for the new generation into the game.

“We’re fiercely passionate about growing from the grass roots. But we’re also aware of the rich heritage of high performing players that are part of our story.

“This programme will help to create a new generation of players to follow in the footsteps of past Carnoustie national champions such as David Grieg, Eric Ramsay, Lindsay Mann and Ailsa Summers.”

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