Richard Johnstone is delighted to be learning the ropes from Robert Patterson ahead of taking over the greenkeeping reins at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.
“I am thrilled to be joining Royal Aberdeen as course manager and to be given the opportunity to lead the greenkeeping team at one of the world’s top golf venues,” said Richard, 41.
“The club has a desire to improve on its already exceptionally high standards.
“I am very excited to help enhance and elevate the playing experience for all members, guests and visitors alike.
“It has been invaluable working alongside Robert this month, and it has been fantastic to have a chance to meet and work with the other members of the Royal Aberdeen greenkeeping team.”
Royal Aberdeen club captain Michael Black said: “Royal Aberdeen have been very fortunate over the last 26 years to have Robert Patterson as our course manager.
“Robert has done a magnificent job in bringing the links to the excellent condition it is now in. We wish him all the best in the future.
“We are very happy to have secured the services of Richard as his replacement.
“Richard is a Master Greenkeeper, with a proven track record at Nairn Dunbar, and we have full confidence in him continuing Robert’s good work.”
Richard does not officially start his new post until January 8, but left his role as course manager at Nairn Dunbar earlier this month to shadow Robert’s duties before he retires in February next year.
Richard, who plays off a handicap of two, has 23 years greenkeeping experience and has been Nairn Dunbar course manager for the last eight years.
A BIGGA Master Greenkeeper, Richard is only one of only 89 people to have achieved this accreditation worldwide.
Richard has strong knowledge of construction management and environmental sustainability, also securing the Environmental Golf Course of the Year award in 2021 and 2023.
Richard will be relocating to Aberdeen with his wife Jade and one-year-old daughter Sadie.
Robert will bow out after 26 years of presenting a course which has staged the Scottish Open, Walker Cup, British Senior Open and Scottish Senior Championships.
He will continue to utilise his 43 years in the greenkeeping industry in a consultancy role.
Robert spent 18 years at Royal Dornoch before moving to Balgownie in 1998.
Brian puts back injury hell behind him to become oldest Longside Golf Club champion
Brian Daniel won an extra-time thriller to become the oldest winner of the Longside Golf Club championship.
Two-handicapper Brian pipped Mark Adams at the 19th to clinch the championship for a third time, following successes in 2004 and 2006.
Brian said: “I had three hard-fought games in the knockout stages against former champions in Doug Allan, Jonathan Dunbar and then eventually prevailing against Mark at the first extra hole in the final.
“Longside’s first hole is a 190-yard par three and both our tee-shots were a little short.
“Mark chipped a little long to about seven-feet, but missed the putt.
“I managed to chip to four feet and managed to hole out to lift the title.
“Minutes later, after winning at the age of 54, I was told I was the oldest champion.”
Brian, who works for a timber supply firm in Peterhead, added: “I lost the 2008 final and suffered a few health issues that badly affected my game – the main one was back problems, which eventually ended in surgery six years ago.
“It took a lot longer than I thought to recover and be able to compete again.
“It has slowly been getting better and I managed to make the final in 2021 when I lost to a birdie on the last.
“If you play in club competitions, I guess winning the scratch club championship is what all golfers aim for and I have been fortunate to do so.
“Playing in the Evening Express Champion of Champions next year gives all of us the chance to test our game even more.”
Longside opened as a nine-hole course in August 1980 before extending to 18 holes in April 1996.
Tickets for PGA Seniors Championship’s return go on sale
Discounted early bird tickets are on sale for next year’s Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at Trump International.
Individual day passes are available for all four days from August 1 until August 4 at the cost of £18.
Multi-day passes for all four days at one of the oldest Senior championships in the world are priced at £50.
All the tickets for the flagship event on the Legends Tour include free parking.
Peter Baker is expected to return to defend the title he won by six shots from fellow Englishman Greg Owen earlier this year.
For more details see legendstour.com.