A group of key and frontline workers were given a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the abrdn Scottish Open Pro-Am as they teed it up alongside some of the biggest stars in world golf courtesy of the European Tour’s Golf for Good campaign.
Golf for Good, the umbrella name for the European Tour’s overarching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, along with title sponsor, abrdn, and VisitScotland, offered local heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic a unique opportunity at the second Rolex Series event of the 2021 Race to Dubai.
Scottish golf fans were asked to nominate a local frontline or key worker who deserved to be rewarded for their heroic work during the pandemic.
Among those who were successfully nominated were community volunteer Carol Paterson from Thurso, who celebrated her birthday by playing the Renaissance Club in East Lothian with home hero Robert MacIntyre, BBC personality Dan Walker and fellow nominee Ewan McKinnon, a member of the Arran mountain rescue team.
Police Officer Kevin Summers of Edinburgh and Scott Lauder, who ran a local church club in Inverness while also delivering gifts and food during Christmas, played alongside The 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari.
GP trainee Stefan Hindmarsh from Glasgow, teed it up in the same group as four-time Rolex Series winner Tyrrell Hatton, as did Edinburgh man Paul Hunter – who has raised upward of £36,000 for charity through various fundraisers – and NHS worker Scott Nelson from Elderslie.
Rory Colville, the European Tour’s Championship Director of the abrdn Scottish Open, said: “We were thrilled to host just a few of the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic at this year’s Pro-Am and we truly hope they enjoyed their day playing alongside some of the biggest stars on the European Tour.
“Through Golf for Good, we felt this was the least we could do to recognise and thank the many people who have gone above and beyond during the last 18 months or so. The honour was truly ours to welcome them on site and hopefully give them an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Simon Bailey, Head of Brand at abrdn, said: “We take great pride in our efforts to support community initiatives around our sponsorships. The past year has been a challenging time for many, and the chance to offer places in our Pro Am teams to local people who have gone above and beyond for their communities has shone a light on some of the unsung heroes. It’s was great to see the really deserving nominees having such a great time out on the course on Wednesday.
Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “As well as showcasing Scotland to audiences around the world, our global events programme is a powerful force for good closer to home in our local communities. Seeing the impact the Pro-Am experience at the abrdn Scottish Open had on these inspirational individuals was heartwarming and I’m pleased that we were able to support the Golf for Good initiative to recognise their outstanding efforts.”
‘Golf for Good’ is the umbrella name for the European Tour’s overarching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, which embraces three main pillars: Support for Worthy Causes and communities where the Tour plays; Sustainability and; Inclusivity, Diversity and Health.
The abrdn Scottish Open has given back to the community in many ways this week including partnering with the local respite centre, Leuchie House, as the official charity of the event and raising money via their ‘Birdie Pledge’, which includes a combined donation between the European Tour and abrdn of £15 per birdie and £100 per eagle across all four tournament days.