DORNOCH teenager Zara Macdonald can’t believe her luck after contacts in the golfing world teed-up an amazing work experience opportunity in Germany.
The long-time Royal Dornoch member is counting down to a two-week visit to golf courses near Hanover, where she will be shadowing the marketing and golf tourism team.
The Dornoch Academy pupil, who heads into sixth year with a German Higher pass secured, will be combining twin passions, golf and languages.
Tapping into continental contacts, Royal Dornoch Golf Club general manager Neil Hampton paved the way for the dream trip to northern Germany.
Zara will be hosted by Golf51 at the Arnold Palmer designed Rethmar Golf Links and nearby Golf Gleidingen championship course.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” admitted nine handicapper Zara (17).
“My German teacher, Alasdair Bauld, said it would be great for my language skills to sample everyday life in the country, but this is way beyond anything we were expecting.
“We got in touch with Neil and within a few days he had put me in touch with golf pr Helma Scheffler in Hofheim. She has been incredibly supportive.
“I couldn’t believe it when Helma said Golf51 were prepared to not only welcome me for a work placement at their Hanover courses but also provideaccommodation, meals and the airport runs.
“They are being so generous. I’ll be based in the office at Golf Gleidingen and I’m really excited about the visit and seeing how the golf industry operates in Germany at successful clubs with around 2000 members.”
Zara, who has been golfing since she was presented with plastic clubs by her parents as a toddler, will also get the chance to sample the courses during her stay.
General manager Neil said: “Zara has been a keen member here since she was a child and, as a golf club with close ties to the local community, we were keen to support her hunt for a work placement in Germany.
“Royal Dornoch Golf Club invests a lot of time, energy and money in its junior golfers as they are the future of the club and the game.
“Over the years we have watched Zara grow as a golfer and a person so when we were approached to help her spread her wings, we were all delighted to help.
“It is wonderful that Golf51 have the same attitude to helping young people in their career development and we look forward to Zara enjoying the experience with them.”
Golf, admits Zara, is in her DNA, with mum Margaret and granddad Sander both three times champions at Royal Dornoch.
“My dad Ian had also done well – in the mixed foursomes with me and mum!” laughed Zara.
“My mum took me onto the practice ground at Royal Dornoch when I was three years old and I fell in love with the game.
“There is a very good junior section at the club, although I have been playing more with the ladies in recent years.
“Growing up in Dornoch you tend to take our golf courses for granted but as you get older and play further afield you realise why golfers come from all over the world to play the Championship Course.”
Helma added: “Zara is assured of a warm welcome during her visit.
“I was delighted to help when Neil got in touch. I have enjoyed a friendly relationship with him and the club for many years.
“I am a long-time fan of golf in the Highlands of Scotland and of Royal Dornoch and the town.”