Scotland’s leading young male amateurs are to again benefit from a winter training camp to the United Arab Emirates, with Amateur champion Bradley Neil, Ewen Ferguson (Pictured)), twice a national winner in 2014, and Scottish Hydro Boys Order of Merit champion Calum Fyfe part of an exciting group.
The intensive winter training trip – the majority of which is funded by long-standing SGU sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, Johann Rupert’s Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and sportscotland – involves over three weeks of work on strength and conditioning, psychology and practice.
Building on four previous successful training trips to the UAE, the players depart tomorrow (Tuesday 18 November) until Thursday 11 December for their winter training camp at Al Ain Equestrian Shooting & Golf Club. The group will be based in Al Ain, as well as making excursions to play other European Tour-style courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including The Els Club.
Key members of the SGU coaching team – including National Coach Ian Rae, Scottish Golf Performance Manager Steve Paulding and Scottish Golf Regional Performance Coach George Boswell – will support the players, with input from expert staff at the sportscotland institute of sport.
The group of 11 includes six teenagers, who will all gain valuable experience and the opportunity to benefit from the use of world-class facilities. Blairgowrie’s Neil, Ferguson (Bearsden) and Cawder’s Fyfe are joined by Amateur Championship semi-finalist Connor Syme (Drumoig), Scottish Boys runner-up Ben Kinsley (St Andrews) and Boys’ internationalist Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy).
Ferguson, Neil and Kinsley were part of last year’s group, with Syme, Naysmith and Fyfe to benefit for the first time.
Thornhill’s Greig Marchbank and Craig Ross of Kirkhill, a winner on the EuroPro circuit during the past season, are also in the travelling party for the first time, with Irish Open Stroke Play winner Jamie Savage (Cawder), Scott Gibson (Southerness) and Daniel Young (Craigie Hill) also in the group.
“Our winter training programme in the UAE continues to evolve and provides an opportunity for the players to work on fitness and their golfing skills for an extended period,” said Paulding. “We’re again focusing on our younger players this year, with several benefitting from last year’s experiences.
“The venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer magnificent courses, superb practice facilities and everything we need off the course. We are very grateful to the support of these venues and indebted to our supporters who ultimately make this trip possible – Aberdeen Asset Management, the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and sportscotland.
“We benefit hugely from the sponsors and partners who support the UAE camp, as we know it would be impossible to do the type of training required in Scotland at this time of year.”
Ferguson, the 2013 Boys Amateur champion, is relishing the return to the UAE having reaped the benefits 12 months ago.
The 18-year-old added: “I’m looking forward to it, knowing what to expect. It’s a great learning curve and it helps you appreciate the hard work you need to put in across all areas of the game to succeed.
“The short game is key in golf, and getting the time to work on it at the facilities in the UAE is priceless at this time of year.”
Scotland Golf Squad for UAE winter training camp
(Club and Age in brackets)
- Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden, 18)
- Calum Fyfe (Cawder, 17)
- Scott Gibson (Southerness, 22)
- Ben Kinsley (St Andrews, 18)
- Greig Marchbank (Thornhill, 20)
- Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy, 17)
- Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie, 18)
- Craig Ross (Kirkhill, 21)
- Jamie Savage (Cawder, 20)
- Connor Syme (Drumoig, 19)
- Daniel Young (Craigie Hill, 23)