Hi, I'm Andy AitkenHi, I’m Andy Aitken. I live in Stirling and have been a member of Stirling Golf Club since 1971. I have played competitive golf for over forty years and still enjoy playing in Open Competitions, having for the past few years picked up enough winnings to put me in profit. This year I have entered some thirty odd events and thought I could pass on my opinions of these venues to perhaps encourage other golfers to try them out for themselves. Over the past nine years I have played in approximately three hundred and ten Open Competitions and still continue to find unexplored venues. During 2013 I will be competing for the first time at Niddry Castle, Bathgate, Prestonfield, Whitekirk, Arbroath, Brechin, Irvine & Irvine Ravenspark, Bothwell Castle, Elderslie and Pollock. I will also be returning to Largs, Dumbarton, Paisley and Ratho Park, where I won in 2012. Other venues include Balbirnie, Drumoig, Kilmacolm, Glenbervie, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Pumpherston, Carnwath, Strathaven, Tulliallan,  Auchterarder, Kilspindie  and Buchanan Castle. I intend to include photographs of my visits which you may find helpful. I will also include my scores, good or bad and hope you enjoy my site and find it helpful. I was born on Shrubhill Farm in the County of Kilmadock on 14th August 1948. My family moved soon after to a farm on the outskirts of Bonnybridge. I had never considered playing golf until one day in 1968 I met a friend who was practising at Bonnybridge Golf Club. I hit a few balls while we were chatting and that was me hooked. I joined the club that week (as you could in those days) and after a few rounds was given a handicap of eighteen. In 1970 I married and moved to Stirling where I joined Stirling Golf Club. Over the next few years I reduced my handicap to thirteen, before a medal round score of net 63 saw my handicap reduced by five strokes to eight. Two years later, playing off six, I returned a gross five under par 67 to reduce my handicap to four. In 1983 the introduction of CONGU increased my handicap to five. Thirty Years years later (2013) my handicap is currently Six. Being a single figure golfer, and an employee with John Player & Sons, created opportunities to compete at courses such as Notts Golf Club (better known as Hollinwell), Moor Park, The Berkshire, Sunningdale and Wentworth. I was also lucky enough to compete in two successive Bob Hope Show-Am’s at Turnberry in the mid 1970’s. During these events I met and competed alongside not only Bob Hope himself, but also Telly Savalas, Eric Sykes, and other TV stars of that era. My celebrity playing partners on these occasions were Andy Irvine (Rugby), Alan Rough (now “Real Radio”), Mr Abie (TV comedian) and Lewis Collins (Bodie – from “The Professionals” TV series). In 1983 I was made redundant and used my spare time to assist the Match and Handicap committee, consisting of Bob Strachan and Norman Pook, at Stirling Golf Club. I was co-opted onto the committee and thereafter was voted on every three years by the membership. In 1985 I took on the responsibility of Match Secretary, a position which I held for most of my twenty one years on the committee. The highlight being Club Captain in 1994, our one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary. Like every golf club the Match and Handicap is the most hectic and demanding of your time and I was fortunate to have a good team behind me during my years in office. Graham Buchanan, Jim McDonald, Alan Rennie and Donald Young, reliable team members who always provided support and encouragement. 1987 saw me become involved with “The Scottish Open” at Gleneagles, given the title of Assistant Chief Marshal and put in charge of crowd control “on the golf course,” a role I enjoyed for ten memorable years, the final year at Carnoustie. During the latter years, my “Boss” was Dave MacDougal from Dunkeld. Dave and I compete as a team in the senior 4BBB at King James VI Golf Club in August each year, an event which we have won. While carrying out my duties at the Scottish Open I met and spoke with many of the worlds great players – Fred Couples, Seve Ballesteros, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and many others. I also met and spoke with many of the volunteers, visitors and employees who provided the “Scottish Open” with such a fantastic atmosphere. My fondest memory however was of Payne Stewart whom I met while chatting to a bunch of Edzell based American Marines. Payne sat on an upturned crate sharing stories and jokes for well over an hour one evening after close of play. A memory I will treasure. In 1989 I started work with Scottish Amicable, joined the golf section, and never looked back. In 1999 the Prudential bought us over, and in 2002 I was once again made redundant. Following a successful interview later that year, I started work with the University of Stirling in January 2003. No golf section here I’m afraid, but plenty of good golfers like Ritchie Ramsey who won the US Amateur in 2006 and competed in the 2007 Masters, US Open and The Open Championship before turning Pro in July that year. My current role within the University is as a Security Officer. I work with one of four teams on a twelve hour shift pattern, four days on then four days off, rotating between day shift (06.00 – 18.00) and night shift (18.00 – 06.00).

2 Responses to Home

  1. pete says:

    cool site. Why the picture of Payne Stewart? I am working on a golf documentary movie about a pro golfer named Andy Aitken who can no longer play due to a tragedy and came across your website. One of those odd things .you have the same name. .I am involved in something called Linksplayers.com and they do a Payne Stewart Cup over on your side of the pond. Tell me why you have the photo of Payne. There might be some weird connection.

    • Andy Aitken says:

      Hi Pete, Sorry to disappoint you, but the reason I have the picture of Payne Stewart is because I sat with him and a group of US Marines following his second round in The Scottish Open in 1994 at Gleneagles. Payne joined in the chat for over an hour, and we all had a really good time. Sadly I didn’t think to have my picture taken with him at the time, something which I have always regretted. So as a tribute to Payne, a really nice guy, and a reminder to me, I inserted his photograph in my blog. Andy

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