Photo: General manager Neil Hampton presents new honorary member Paul Lawrie with a framed print of the Championship Course. Credit: Matthew Harris
PAUL Lawrie has been officially presented with honorary membership of Royal Dornoch Golf Club.
The 1999 Open champion has been recognised by the club for his outstanding contribution to golf as a player and in setting-up the Paul Lawrie Foundation, which is encouraging the next generation of Scots golfing talent.
Paul, who became an honorary member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews before last summer’s 150th Open Championship, received the Royal Dornoch accolade and a framed print at a packed clubhouse.
He becomes part of a select band, joining fellow Major winners Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw as living honorary members of our world-famous links.
Club men’s captain Professor Bell said: “Paul has made a massive contribution to golf at Royal Dornoch and in Scotland.
“We know how much he loves this golf club and Paul will be a great ambassador for Royal Dornoch.”
Paul, who recalled playing the Championship Course in the 1980s in a Dennis Lovell event for assistant professionals, admitted: “I didn’t realise how few honorary members there are. It’s amazing for me to join legends like Tom and Ben.”
He thrilled youngsters Harry Fleming and Kieran Allan from our thriving junior section by presenting prizes before members enjoyed a wide-ranging question and answer session.
Paul (54), who supported Royal Dornoch’s “400 Years of Golf” celebrations and, in 2020, officially unveiled the new-look 7th hole on the Championship Course, delighted his audience with recollections of the dramatic play-off win at Carnoustie, on a day when he started in 13th spot, 10 shots off the lead.
He shared Ryder Cup memories, good and bad; touched on the LIV issue and golf ball technology debate; and recounted tales of personalities on Tour, including his heroes growing-up, Sandy Lyle and Seve Ballesteros.
Paul mapped out the success of the Foundation he teed-up more than 20 years ago to encourage youngsters into golf and hailed the support from businesses and golf clubs, including Royal Dornoch, for the Tartan Pro Tour which was formed during the pandemic and is going from strength to strength.
Finally, asked how one of our American members might end a frustratingly long wait to par the famous 14th hole, “Foxy,” Paul laughed: “Just gun it down there – then close your eyes and chip it!”
The presentation was broadcast live on YouTube and you can view it here – Paul Lawrie Honorary Membership Presentation.