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Dornoch teenager's work experience in Germany was 'trip of a lifetime'

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GOLF mad Dornoch teenager Zara Macdonald has described her work experience adventure in Germany as “the trip of a lifetime".

Zara, a nine-handicap member of Royal Dornoch enjoyed two weeks working behind the scenes at the Arnold Palmer designed Rethmar Golf Links and the Golf Gleidingen championship course near Hanover.

Zara at Golf Gleidingen with Daniela Buchholz, golf tourism and guest relations manager, and Friedrich-Wilhelm Knust, owner of Golf51.
Zara at Golf Gleidingen with Daniela Buchholz, golf tourism and guest relations manager, and Friedrich-Wilhelm Knust, owner of Golf51.

The 17-year-old Dornoch Academy pupil also seized the chance to talk up golf in the Highlands when she took to the courses with the local media.

“It was an amazing experience, one I’ll never forget,” said Zara. “Everyone was so welcoming. It more than lived up to my hopes.”


Dream trip to Germany teed-up for Dornoch teenager

A programme was teed-up for Zara by the clubs’ marketing team in tandem with the Golf51 agency and German communications managing director Helma Scheffler.

“It was fascinating seeing what goes on behind the scenes at two of Germany’s finest golf clubs,” she said.

“I saw how they went about filming features for their social media and I helped organise what they call the caddy boxes for members, dealing with lockers and trolleys. I also accompanied the marshal when he was introducing beginners to the rules and step-by-step, on-course etiquette.

“I helped arrange a big beginners’ tournament for all ages. That was their final event of the season at Gleidingen and it was amazing.

“The event had a country and western theme, so many of the staff in the clubhouse were decked out in checked shirts and some were wearing cowboy hats. It was great fun.

“I was also asked to do a ‘Beat the Pro’ type event, chipping at one hole, with a cowboy hat on. One beginner holed out and he was over the moon.

“There was a fabulous prizegiving, a live band and an amazing buffet!”

A work experience trip was suggested by Dornoch Academy German teacher Alasdair Bauld.

“Initially most people were speaking to me in English but after a few days I was getting a chance to work on my German,” said Zara. “I also got a chance to play quite a lot of golf, including 10 holes with Stuart Allan, the Scots pro at Rethmar Golf. Unfortunately it was bucketing down that particular day but it was still nice.

“I also played with some German journalists and took the opportunity to promote Royal Dornoch and golf in the Highlands. Many of the members I met had the Championship Course on their wish list.

“I am so grateful to Neil Hampton, the general manager at Royal Dornoch, and all his contacts in Germany who helped set-up the visit.”

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