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PGA pro-am competitions for Golspie, Brora and Tain golf clubs

By SPP Reporter

John Sutherland
John Sutherland

The PGA in Scotland, in conjunction with three leading Dornoch Firth Highland golf clubs -Brora, Golspie and Tain - have announced the establishment of the John Sutherland Legacy Pro-Am. 

The tournament, which will be the first PGA in Scotland Order of Merit Pro-Am event played on the three courses, is designed to raise global awareness of these exceptional seaside links and to honor the legacy of John Sutherland (1864-1941), who played a leadership role in establishing golf in the Highlands. 

The annual event will rotate between two of the three sponsoring clubs, with the inaugural tournament being held at Tain and Golspie on May 21st and 22nd, 2018. The 2019 event will be held at Brora and Golspie, with the 2020 event taking place at Brora and Tain. 

Forty teams of four will compete, each lead by a Scottish PGA member who will individually compete for £25,000 in prize money. A gala dinner will be held at the conclusion at DunrobinCastle on the evening of May 22nd with several celebrities expected in attendance to entertain the competitors. 

Practice rounds will be held May 19th and 20th. Qualifying events for amateur teams to win entry will be held at Golspie Golf Club on 28th April 2018 and Tain Golf Club on 14th April 2018.

John Sutherland served as secretary of Royal Dornoch Golf Club for 58 years (1883 - 1941), and was a Founding Member of the Scottish Golf Union and founding secretary of its Northern District.

He served as principal architect for many courses in the Highlands, including Royal Dornoch, Brora, Golspie, Tain, Portmahomack, Bonar Bridge, Skibo, Lairg and Wick. Sutherland was responsible for many of the leading golfers of his era travelling north to celebrate these exceptional links, including Old Tom Morris, James Braid, JH Taylor, Harry Vardon and Arnaud Massy. He was the mentor to Dornochians Donald and Alex Ross who emigrated to America, Alex winning the 1907 US Open and brother Donald becoming perhaps the most important golf course architect in United States history. 

Sutherland was also perhaps the finest golfer in the history of the Highlands, having won Royal Dornoch’s Silver Medal 11 times and leading Dornoch’s team to 16 victories in the Northern Counties Cup. Sutherland also served as Dornoch’s town clerk for 17 years until his death in 1941.

A leadership committee has been established to organise the event, consisting of chairman Stuart Morrison, Tain Golf Club; James Yuill, Golspie Golf Club; Tony Gill, Brora Golf Club; Shona Malcolm, PGA in Scotland and Todd Warnock,Links House at Royal Dornoch. The committee will be working in the coming months to form a sponsorship committee to assist in funding the event. 

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