As we look forward to 2011 and our 16th anniversary year, it is wonderful to report on another successful 12 months in 2011 thanks to our members, and our generous sponsors and supporters.
Once again, there were heart warming scenes - despite the unseasonable weather - on the eve of the 150th anniversary Open Championship in July over the world-famous Old Course in St Andrews when disabled people from several parts of Fife and Angus gathered for the presentation of electrically powered wheelchairs, courtesy of the fund raising efforts of our charity.
The heavy rain meant that the ceremony was held inside the entrance to the Open Golf Show, within the massive tented village complex at the tournament. The nine wheelchairs were officially handed over by the captain of the Royal
and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, retired chartered accountant Colin Brown, a former captain of Prestwick Golf Club and a Deputy Lieutenant of Renfrewshire. Among others who attended the touching ceremony were Sir Michael Bonallack, past captain and former secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, and Argentinian golfing legend Roberto de Vincenzo, winner of the Open Championship at Hoylake in 1967. They joined with members of the families of the wheelchair recipients and many of the donors.
The donors included The R&A Group of Companies, the staff of St Andrews Links Trust, the Portland Hotels Group, stayinstandrews.com, the local hotels' and guesthouses association, Iain Bett, Neal Garland, Peter Crabtree and Dr David Malcolm, and the family of the late David Lyall from St Andrews.
Speaking at the ceremony, the charity's patron, playwright, historian and artist, David Joy, said that he was delighted that once again Keepers of the Green was able to gift powered mobility to so many people, which would give them
a new independence.
In addition to the Open Championship presentation, we were able to provide wheelchairs to other recipients throughout the year. On the golf front there will again be no playing of the Old Course in reverse this year for our Spring meeting for the second year in succession - St Andrews Links Trust has noted a general downturn in interest.
However, we will be holding our Spring competition as usual and it will take place on the Jubilee Course on April 15. Any members wishing to take part should advise me as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as we have only a limited number of tee times. Our autumn meeting is scheduled for September 23, also over the Jubilee Course.
I will advise you of the costs and further details of both events at a later date. As you will have gathered over the past few months our venerable and very popular secretary and administrator of recent years, Jimmy Bone, has taken well
earned retirement. However, he still maintains a great interest in our work and is still being called on by myself to "show me the ropes" to keep everything ticking over.
We have also moved into a new "temporary"(at least for the moment) office at The St Andrews Golf Club and we thank the club's committee of management for their kind and invaluable support.