AGM – Meet the new Captain and Vice-Captain Team

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The Peebles Golf Club AGM takes place this Tuesday 13 February, where current Captain Graham Lowther will hand over the reins to a new captain and vice-captain elect team, Ross Duncan and Gavin Carruthers, supported by fellow Board members David Wright (Membership), Jim Dickson (Greens) and Grant Foster (Finance).

We thought it would be helpful to give some background on Ross and Gavin ahead of the AGM…

Ross Duncan – Captain elect:

Ross has been a member of the club since joining as a junior in 1985. His first ever job was as a glass collector in the old clubhouse under the stewardship of Terry McIntosh and worked as greenkeeper at Peebles during his summer holidays whilst a student at the University of Strathclyde, where he studied Marketing. His finest golfing achievement was winning the Boys Championship in 1990, although his golfing highlight was partnering current US Open Champion Brooks Koepka in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Pro-Am at Gullane (finishing fourth!). Ross will take over as captain exactly 30 years after his dad Stuart served in the same role.

 Captain elect for the next two years, Ross Duncan

Captain elect for the next two years, Ross Duncan

Ross has been on the club committee for the past 10 years, supporting the club as Marketing Convenor where his role has covered website development, design, photography, Peeblesshire News reports, social media communication across Facebook and Twitter and all the Howie brothers updates! He is also one of the ClubGolf volunteer coaches involved in junior coaching on Sundays and is on the junior sub-committee. Ross is co-organiser of the Odd Shaped Ball, which has generated more than £28,000 for junior sport in Peebles, and also runs the Odd Shaped Golf Day, which has become one of the club’s most popular team events. Having previously worked at Sunderland Football Club, he is currently Marketing & Commercial Director for Scottish Golf, where he has worked since 2004.

What one thing would you like to see change in golf?

“On a local level, I would like to see our members enjoying themselves more! The golf club should be a place where you are relaxed, having fun and happy, not a place to moan and grumble. We have a fantastic golf course which has been in great condition for the last few years with amazing views, and there is no better place to be when the sun shines. We have a lovely clubhouse, a great practice facility and a diverse community of members. I speak to many other clubs across Scotland in my job and Peebles is very highly regarded across the country because of the work we’ve done and changes we’ve made over the past few years. We have a great team of volunteers at the club who put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make the club as good as it can possibly be. It’s never going to be perfect, but I think we all need to appreciate what we’ve got a little bit more.”

Gavin Carruthers - Vice Captain elect:

Gavin joined the club in 1980 as a fresh-faced 10-year-old and quickly became a regular in junior competitions, encouraged by his Dad Jim, who was a long standing member. A prolific performer on the competitive junior circuit, Gavin’s first major achievement was winning the Boys Championship in 1984. From 1985, he qualified for match play stages of Club Championship for no fewer than 25 consecutive years, reaching the final on 3 occasions, eventually becoming Club Champion in 1998, the proudest moment of his golfing career. Indeed Gavin and his late dad Jim are the only father and son combination to have both won the Championship. Gavin is also a twice winner of the Thorburn Cup. Other notable achievements include twice winning the Balfour Beattie with Colin Fraser and being a member of the winning Borders Summer League team on three occasions.

 Vice-captain elect Gavin Carruthers and wife at last year's 125 Anniversary Ball

Vice-captain elect Gavin Carruthers and wife at last year's 125 Anniversary Ball

His first spell on the Committee was from 1988 – 1994 where he was heavily involved with competitions and handicapping, then re-joined in 2014, taking on the challenging role of Junior Convenor. Gavin has been a driving force in the growth of the ClubGolf programme, taking junior membership from 60 to 130 kids and was on stage at the Scottish Golf Awards to receive the Junior Club of the Year award in 2015. He has restructured the junior sub-committee and is also a PGA Level 1 coach. Outwith golf, he has served as Treasurer of Peebles Football Club for many years, while his working life has all been with Standard Life, where he works in the role of Change Manager.

What one thing would you like to see change in golf?

“Golf is facing significant social and economic challenges: fewer people are joining Golf Clubs than ever before. Peebles Golf Club is not immune to this and I want to ensure we remain financially strong and a prize community asset for many years to come.  In order to achieve this, the club need to do things differently which might not always sit comfortably with all our members. I would ask every member to be an advocate for the club, promote positive messages to their friends and relatives and ask themselves - what can I do for Peebles Golf Club?”

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