After its enforced cancellation due to COVID last year, the rebranded ‘Royal Deeside Golf Week’
(RDGW) saw a sell-out field of 160 players from across the UK compete last week over the four
Aberdeenshire courses of Aboyne, Banchory, Ballater and Braemar.

Playing off a 13-handicap, winner of the Men’s stableford competition was first time visitor Kenny
Irvine of Dumfries & Galloway Golf Club who posted a 4-round aggregate of 153 to win by 4 points
in the 114 strong field. (Picture of Kenny Irvine attached with the RDGW Stag trophy).
Winner amongst the 46 Ladies vying for their title was newcomer Julie Baird of West Linton GC with
a stableford score of 148 playing off a 14 handicap. (Picture of Julie Baird attached with the RDGW
Otter trophy).

RDGW Co-Ordinator Nigel Bradburn said, “we are delighted to have successfully relaunched the
RDGW with the help of ‘Visit Scotland’ as part of the economic regeneration of the Mid and Upper
Deeside area.”

Nigel added “the RDGW has been in existence since the early 1980’s; however, in recent years the
tournament was substantially impacted by the ravages of ‘Storm Frank’ and the resulting flooding in
Ballater. In addition, tourism on Royal Deeside has been severely affected by the COVID-19
outbreak and it was recognised that attracting golfers to the area forms a crucial part of the wider
economic recovery programme as the retail and hospitality sector benefit from the influx of visitors
here for the golf week and during the playing season.”

Nigel went on “with a new look website and some highly targeted
strategic marketing, we were able to sell-out the event in just five days of launch in early February. It
is great to see a new and diverse group of players from all parts of the UK coming to sample golf on
beautiful Royal Deeside for the first time.”

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire said: “This is a
fabulous initiative with the four golf clubs working together to showcase not only the great golf
courses situated on Royal Deeside but the wonderful accommodation options and other tourism
attractions. There is pent up demand for first-class experiences in Scotland and it is clear the RDGW
is a hugely popular initiative.”

Winner Kenny Irvine said “Congratulations to the Royal Deeside organisers for a first-class run
competition with everybody being so friendly and helpful. We have all enjoyed the hospitality at every
golf course we played this week. Winning the Royal Deeside is the greatest golfing achievement in
my life – it certainly took long enough! Like many people I have spoken to, we are already planning
to come back next year, and I look forward to defending my title.”

Julie commented “I am really thrilled to have won the ladies section of the RDGW. This was my first
visit to the event. Several of my friends have been coming for years and recommended it and I really
enjoyed playing all the courses. I was so impressed by the lovely surrounding scenery and by the
condition of the courses themselves. I had some great playing partners over the four rounds, some
known to me and some I met that day, everyone was so friendly and helpful, and I had a great time.
I will definitely be coming back next year.”