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Challenge Tour blog - Hydro therapy

The sign outside the men's bathrooms at the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts welcomes all males to the toilets, including native grizzly beasts! ()
The sign outside the men's bathrooms at the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts welcomes all males to the toilets, including native grizzly beasts! ()
Is golf getting a little too serious for your liking recently? Why not enjoy some ‘Scottish Hydro therapy’ as our press officer on the ground at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club brings you some tales from behind the scenes.

Sociable Media

One of the many great things about the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts is the large presence of Scotland’s finest golf writers, all filing copy on a daily basis to provide the most comprehensive coverage of any tournament on the Challenge Tour schedule.

Not only is this great for the tournament, but also a great thing for the press office in Aviemore this week, which becomes a bustling hive of activity and humour.

The Scottish press contingent has a strong reputation as one of the most hilarious bunch of compatriots in the world of golf media.

One great moment of the 2012 edition of this tournament came in the press office when Chris Doak, who went on to play in the US Open last week, spoke after a strong round which put him into contention and told the media he had had serious difficulty in sleeping the previous night due the flatulence of his dog!

Rather than being a throwaway remark which was laughed at and subsequently forgotten about, Doaky’s farting dog became the main story, producing a scene in the media centre akin to a sitcom when ideas were thrown around for possible headlines and intro paragraphs.

From this conversation was birthed the greatest headline ever seen in the Scottish newspapers – “Doak’s parping pooch”.

Pro-Am dinner provides usual mix of glamour and humour

The Scottish Hydro Challenge is one of the real occasions of the Challenge Tour season and nothing is ever found wanting in bringing pomp and ceremony to the table.

It was no different for the Pro-Am dinner, which is always a hugely glamourous occasion, and this year Stephen Gallacher was the special guest of the night as he took part in a questions and answers session after a marvellous dinner which included beautifully presented starters followed by a beef roast main course and some delightful desserts.

Gallacher spoke of his win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic victory this year and his ambitions to be a part of The 2014 Ryder Cup team on home soil at Gleneagles Hotel.

Alan Tait, a former European Tour player turned after-dinner speaker, entertained the guests with some great stories about his time as a touring professional and plenty of jokes.

On top of that, the closest to the pin contest during the Pro-Am was given a novel twist when the three best players during the day battled it out in a virtual closest to the pin contest on a simulator in front of the crowds.

It was an evening not to be forgotten, not even for the ones who stayed at the bar until the dying embers of Wednesday night/Thursday morning!

Brothers in arms

This week’s Scottish Hydro Challenge is a bit of a family affair as there are two sets of Scottish brothers playing this week.

Two members of Team Scottish Hydro, Jack Doherty and Lloyd Saltman, will both have the company of siblings as they both attempt to seal a maiden Challenge Tour title.

Saltman is joined by brothers Elliot, who has played regularly on the Challenge Tour, and Zack, who often caddies for Lloyd and was on the bag for the former Walker Cup player when he sealed his best finish of the season last year in Lyon, France.

Doherty, meanwhile, is joined by his brother Paul, who is a professional in Scotland.

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