In the aftermath of his Open Championship success at Carnoustie in 1999, Paul Lawrie naturally welcomed the boost it gave to his own professional image and status in the world of golf.
This wasn’t his only reaction, though. Indeed, there was an even stronger one: “How can I put something back…”
It is now history that, from this admirable thought process there emerged the Paul Lawrie Golf Development Programme, an initiative that has progressed to the simpler but wider-ranging Paul Lawrie Foundation.
The Foundation’s objective is to encourage all children, with no restrictions, to ‘have fun’ experiencing the game of golf, to improve their skills, ease their transition to a golf club environment and to be able to reach the potential that they set for themselves.
Against this background, and after the appointment of a Programme Manager, the scheme has grown dramatically throughout schools and beyond into a thoroughly worthwhile network of golf for kids throughout the Aberdeenshire region of northern Scotland.
Now, such has been its success that Paul and his colleagues have a vision to see the Foundation spread its influence for the well-being of the sport in the Home of Golf around the rest of Scotland i.e. Glasgow and Edinburgh, the West and East coasts, the Highlands and the Borders.
To that end a request for a grant was made to, and accepted by, the committee of the RCEDT and an Open Champion’s desire to ‘put something back into the sport’ is being realised in heart-warming fashion for boys and girls in the country where it all began.
The Paul Lawrie Foundation is receiving a grant of £7,500 per annum…And just imagine: if Jean Van de Velde had thought a little longer before taking his infamous paddle at the final hole of the 1999 Open, Scotland’s lads and lassies may never have been offered this ‘open door’ entrance to a sport that can shape their lives for the better.