Saturday, 18 July 2020

Keeping in Touch – 18 July 2020

Good evening, ladies. I trust this next message finds you well. I had a lovely day today – a reasonably well played round of golf at Meldrum House, mostly in sunshine, followed by a sandwich and cup of coffee sitting on the patio at the clubhouse, catching up with a few friends and meeting one or two new members. It was delightful – a real pleasure to have the clubhouse open again.

Since my previous ‘Keeping in Touch’ post just over a month ago, more County events have been the victims of Covid cancellation, including the ALCGA Opens at McDonald Ellon, Kemnay, and Murcar Links, plus the Tri-Am at Oldmeldrum – another 24% of our annual fixtures in Aberdeenshire. At one point as lockdown was being eased and golf was restarting, I was beginning to wonder if some of our decisions to cancel events had been premature. However, with open competitions still forbidden and no indication of imminent change to that restriction, I think we were probably right. Roll on next season.

I do have some good news about fixtures. Jackie Brown, Angus LCGA Captain has confirmed that the 2021 Northern Division Inter-County Jamboree will take place at Monifieth Links from Saturday 12 till Monday 14 June. Accommodation is already booked for our team and officials. It’s exciting to anticipate the contest and the camaraderie.

I have more good news to share, this time about our junior member Carmen (Griffiths), Aboyne Golf Club, who has signed up with ProDreamUSA with a view to heading to the USA in The Fall 2021 to pursue her golfing development and studies. Carmen emailed me saying: “I'm really excited about the scholarship. It's something I've been thinking about for a long time and I’ve decided it’s definitely the right thing for me. Academically I'm looking to study Sports and Exercise, something which I love, with a hope to lead into Physiotherapy later. My golf plan is to continue competing and grow as an Amateur, and follow my dream to eventually turn Pro and make it through Q-School and gain my playing cards for the LET and LPGA. I'll keep working hard and chasing my dreams!” Always continue to dream big, Carmen – best wishes from us all.

What do you think of the “Me and My Golf” Cameos that I have been posting? Isn’t it interesting – but maybe not surprising – how many Dads have inspired girls to become involved and have encouraged them to stay involved in golf? In 12 out of the 20 cameos so far, Dads get a mention! Have you, like me, picked up any suggestions for practice sessions? Maybe I should concentrate on my putting more often and more systematically. Did you notice the possibly Freudian slip in my own cameo – an unintentionally amusing combination of responses which I didn’t realise when writing them. Having declared my talent for mixing gin and tonic in response to Question 9, I proceeded to declare “One too many!” in response to Question 10 – oops!

Now I have only one “Me and My Golf” cameo in reserve, ready for publication. Therefore, please join in and send me yours. I’d love to receive it. The more I have the better. Please email your responses and photos to me at or WhatsApp them to me on 07717 133397. Thank you.

In the meantime, enjoy your golf and continue to keep safe.


Lorna M Johnson
Captain, ALCGA

Thursday, 18 June 2020

"Me and My Golf" Cameos - 18 June 2020

Keeping in Touch – 18 June 2020

How are you today? Have you been out on the golf course? I had an extended lesson with Neil (Marr) at Meldrum House. It was great and has given me some tips, some things to try and to practice, and some things to think about. So I should have potential to improve my scores …

ALCGA events normally present great opportunities to meet, chat with and get to know others in the county community. Because those chances have gone for this year, Louise (Anderson) suggested another way of getting to know a bit more about some members. She suggested a set of questions about golf and golfing reflections with the answers shared in what I have labelled “Me and My Golf” Cameos.

In the first instance, I have asked the ALCGA Leadership Team (Officials, Management Committee, and Junior Leaders) and the County Team Squad to answer these 10 questions:
  1. Home Club?
  2. Current Handicap?
  3. Target Handicap?
  4. Age when you started to golf?
  5. Favourite club in the bag?
  6. Favourite course to play?
  7. Favourite practice drill?
  8. Who or what is the biggest influence on your game?
  9. Outwith golf, what’s your secret talent?
  10. Describe your game in three words?
It quickly became apparent to me that photos were necessary so that the girls and ladies can be recognised by you!

I intend to post the cameos in groups, essentially in the order in which I receive them. I am finding that they are interesting, fun, and give me some food for thought. I hope that you will enjoy them too.

Please continue to keep safe.


Lorna M Johnson
Captain, ALCGA

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Keeping in Touch – 13 June 2020

How are you? I thought this would a good time to say hi again and check out if you’ve had a chance to play some golf since the reopening of our courses. I’ve played a few times and have loved it. Suffice to say that I’d prefer not to comment on the standard of my golf – I think Karen and Carol said the same thing - but it was great to be out there. Because I live on my own and my person-to-person contact has been restricted mainly to looking after my aged parents both of whom have dementia, it was simply refreshing to be with a ‘real’ rather than a ‘virtual’ friend, albeit at 2 metres apart. How has your game survived lockdown?

This weekend, ALCGA officials, selector Laura, the County team, caddies and supporters should be out on the beautiful links at Monifieth where this year’s Northern Division Inter-County Jamboree should be taking place. We should be meeting friends old and new, the opposition from Angus, Northern Counties and Perth & Kinross, for the customary fiercely competitive event and our regional qualifier for the Scottish County Finals. It goes without saying that we will miss the golfing challenge but we will also miss the social get together and team camaraderie.

Of course, this County team event is not the only Covid casualty to date. We have all missed the ALCGA Opens at Ballater, Aboyne, Banchory, Fraserburgh, and Westhill, the County Championship at Meldrum House, and the Watt Duffus Trophy at Newburgh-on-Ythan – 41% of our annual fixtures in Aberdeenshire! It’s my aspiration to organise next year’s events at the venues that had to be cancelled this year, particularly because we were looking forward to visiting clubs and courses that have been absent from our itinerary for some time and others that are favourites.

During lockdown, I’ve been delighted that so many of the County Team Squad have kept in touch with me, giving me the chance to get to know the girls a little better and learn things that I didn’t know before. I already shared some of these in earlier ‘Keeping in Touch’ posts. Here are a few more ...
Fiona (Pennie) has worked in the police for 22 years – I can’t believe she’s old enough for that – now in Detective Training. When I talk about the police I’m minded to thank again all ALCGA ladies who are key workers in essential services and who continue to support and look after us all.
Gillian (MacKenzie) has decided to change career and is leaving her Christian youth leader role in July. She has no specific future plans but I’m confident that she will be guided to something that will be just right for her. Best wishes, Gillian.
Hannah (Bycroft) who lives on her own in a flat without a garden and is working from home said she would “definitely appreciate getting out on the course a lot more once this is over”. I think we all agree with you on that one, Hannah.
Rachel (Mathieson) was devastated to miss out on her SQA exams – understandable given her hard work, her motivation to do well and her desire to demonstrate her best achievements.
Robyn (Fowlie) has been driving – with her golf club not a vehicle – in the field adjacent to her house. Also, she is a talented pianist studying at Higher Grade level. I think I’ve found a leader for a County piano quartet – Robyn, Karen, Susie, Laura!
Sheena (Wood) has friends far and wide due to her successful golfing career during which she represented Scotland from 1999 till 2001 and Scottish Seniors since 2013. During lockdown, she has been developing her green fingers, growing flowers and vegetables. How did your garden grow, Sheena?
Vicki (Thom) finished maternity leave during lockdown and went back to work part-time. To quote her: “So between Corran [her one year old little boy], work, cooking, keeping on top of the house and getting our daily exercise in, the days seem to pass quickly with the routine we have going. We’re doing a 5k run with the buggy almost every other day for a quick blast of exercise while working. I’m still doing some weights in the garden for a workout when I’ve time! Filling a rucksack with books as I don’t have any weights at home! It’s very effective for squats and lunges and even kettlebell swings using the handle!” I’m exhausted just thinking about it, Vicki!

I’ve also been keeping in touch with most recent past Captain, Ann (Smart). I’m very disappointed to tell you that her chemotherapy treatment to date has not been totally effective against the lymphoma and, consequently, she has to have further treatment that will be specified soon. Given lockdown, social distancing, and isolation, Ann has faced an especially arduous time. Her attitude is always inspiring. I know that you will all join with me in sending her our very best wishes through the next stage of her journey to recovery.

Since I mentioned her in my ‘Keeping in Touch - 26 April 2020’ post, Kimberley (Beveridge) emailed me with an update on the start of her professional career, telling me that her tour fixtures have not been cancelled and that the aim is to reschedule some later in the year. She has her fingers crossed that she may get 2 or 3 competitions. Our fingers are crossed for you too, Kimbo. Please keep us posted.

Many of you will know Nita (Dervish-Uman) who is a very keen supporter of County events. Back in December, German wirehaired pointer puppy Orlagh joined Nita’s household all the way from Galway and has been a perfect lockdown new friend for her. I think Orlagh looks adorable and is worthy of a place in my news.

Hopefully the weather is going to perk up again soon and, along with some further easing of lockdown restrictions, our spirits will be raised as we move through the summer months. It’s great to be outdoors for fresh air and recreation but I’m really looking forward to some more normal socialising at home with family and friends.

Also I’m still looking forward to reading some of your ‘golf comeback’ stories or seeing your photos. Please email me at or message me on 07717 133397.

In the meantime, enjoy golf, make the most of the current new normality, stay well, and keep safe.


Lorna M Johnson
Captain, ALCGA