Last summer, the Perthshire golfing community suffered a huge loss with the passing of Barrie Douglas, aged 69. Barrie had been over in La Manga, Spain, acting as captain for Scottish Golf’s European Boys’ team last July when he fell ill – he died little over a month later, on August 17th 2017.
A member at both Craigie Hill and Blairgowrie Golf Club, he was one of the most popular figures in Scottish Amateur Golf. At the time of his death, tributes flew in from across Perthshire and indeed Scotland for a man who had given so much to the sport. Barrie was a long-time Great Britain and Ireland selector for the R&A as well as a man who was passionate about junior golf.
He played a significant part in developing Perth and Kinross’s professional golfers such as Daniel Young and Wallace Booth, and he also influenced the early career of Blairgowrie’s Bradley Neil – now a professional on the illustrious European Tour.
Not long after his death, the Barrie Douglas Foundation was set up in his name and they started organising a junior golf tournament to be staged annually in his memory.
And the inaugural Barrie Douglas Scottish Junior Masters will be held later this month at Blairgowrie Golf Club, where Barrie was a popular member. The three-day competition will take place from April 27th – 29th and has been sponsored by Tayside law firm, Blackadders. Barrie loved his golf and did all he could to give a helping hand to promising youngsters keen to make their mark in the sport.
This week Tish – Barrie’s widow – joined daughters Susan Soutar and Jennifer Davidson for the official launch of the new tournament alongside Douglas Sneddon of Blackadders, and Blairgowrie’s head professional Charles Dernie. The event is set to become a permanent fixture on the Scottish golfing calendar and will carry vital World Amateur Golf ranking points too.
“Barrie loved his golf and did all he could to give a helping hand to promising youngsters keen to make their mark in the sport,” said Tish Douglas, speaking at the tournament launch.
“He would be surprised but ever so proud to see a Foundation and this Junior Masters created in his memory. Barrie was always supportive of any initiatives designed to nurture young golfing talent and got on so well with the boys in his teams and their parents.
“The support the Foundation has received in recent months from the business community and volunteers has been quite remarkable.”
Douglas Sneddon, senior partner with the tournament’s main sponsor Blackadders, also paid tribute to Barrie at the launch.
“Blackadders is delighted to be associated with this Junior Masters event,” he said, “it’s wonderful to see 85 youngsters signing up for the first tournament in Barrie’s memory and I’m sure it will go from strength to strength.
“Barrie was involved with the county golf set-up in Perth and Kinross for more than 50 years and was hugely influential. His father, Jimmy, was county president when I began golfing and Barrie inherited his passion for the game.
“It’s entirely fitting that this tournament should be held at Blairgowrie, where Barrie was a long-time member.”
The inaugural event has the backing of a host of other sponsors too, including Carbon Financial Partners, GS Brown Construction, A&J Stephen, The Blue Group, T’Go, GS Group, McLeod Glaziers, Dental Technique, Club 300, Barclays Bank, Decorum Décor and the Gibson Family. The backing from sponsors has been welcomed by Scottish Golf’s national boys’ coach, Spencer Henderson.
“The aim of the Foundation is to raise money for funds which will support junior golf in Scotland,” Spencer commented.
“This is all in memory of Barrie, who was a passionate champion of golf in Scotland and beyond. The inaugural Junior Masters for U16 and U18 boys over the Landsdowne Championship Course is family orientated and includes a Saturday hot dog and fun golf night as part of the programme.”
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