The University of Stirling’s golf scholars are all set for their first tournaments of 2018 after being put through their paces at a fortnight-long winter training camp in Dubai.
Fifteen athletes from Stirling’s men’s and women’s teams flew out to the United Arab Emirates to take advantage of the warm weather and excellent facilities.
The golfers – including Laird Shepherd, Chloe Goadby and Gemma Batty – endured an intense training regime in the desert city, led by the University’s High Performance Golf Coach Dean Robertson.
Based at Al Ain Golf Club during their first week, the athletes competed in an ultimate skills challenge – which saw their performance scored across a number of areas, including putting, par threes and up and down exercises.
Alasdair McDougall, a second-year Sports Studies student, won the first event, with impressive performances across all four rounds seeing him top the leaderboard on -5.
Performance was the focus of week two, which saw the athletes compete over four 18-hole rounds at Al Hamra Golf Club. Michael Lawrie, a first-year student in Sport Business Management, won the tournament with a score of -1, one ahead of Jordan Sundborg and two ahead of third-placed Laird Shepherd.
Gemma Batty was the best-performing female golfer of the second week, finishing in fifth place with a score of +2. Chloe Goadby, who has enjoyed a successful season so far, placed sixth with +3.
Dean Robertson, a former European Tour professional, said: “As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, we’re renowned for giving our young talent the best opportunities to fulfil their potential.
“The winter training camp in Dubai, part of our Golf Scholarship Programme, provided our athletes with the perfect opportunity to finalise their preparations for the year ahead. During the fortnight, our scholars trained at world-class facilities and tested their skills on championship courses, with Michael Lawrie winning the 72-hole competition.
“All of our athletes can be proud of their efforts in Dubai and we hope they will reap the rewards over the remainder of the season.”
Stirling’s female golfers will this week compete in the four-day Ladies Portuguese Amateur Championship, which begins at West Cliff, Praia D’el Rey, today (Wednesday, 24 January).
Meanwhile, the University’s male golfers will fly out to Coachella Valley, California, to play in Stanford University’s Prestige Collegiate event in mid-February. The competition features many of the top National Collegiate Athletic Association Division One golf teams.