Pressure? What pressure as Jim launches Lanark season!

Lanark Golf Club captain Jim McKechnie tees off on New Years Day (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Lanark Golf Club captain Jim McKechnie tees off on New Years Day (Pic by Sarah Peters)
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Lanark Golf Club captain Jim McKechnie defied nerves to officially launch the club’s new season at a ceremony on New Year’s morning.

Despite being watched by a large group of Lanark members at the side of the tee, Jim launched a fine drive 240 yards down the left side of the fairway.

Six handicapper Jim (53), of Law, told Gazette Sport: “The opening shot on New Year’s morning is a tradition at Lanark Golf Club and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It was a lovely dry, clear and crisp morning.

“There was pressure, particularly when I knew the people who were watching.

“But hitting it 240 yards onto the fairway on the first hole at Lanark is as good as it gets for me. I was happy with it.

“It’s always a good tee shot on the first when it doesn’t go into Lanark Loch.”

After the first tee shot had been hit, seven pairs of members took part in the two ball foursomes Orchard Shield competition, which has been played annually at Lanark in most years since first being staged way back in 1883.

Winners of the 2017 staging were John Rogers and Eddie Poyner, who triumphed with a fine net score of 71.5 in the tricky alternate shot format.

Runners-up Adrian O’Neill and Craig Milburn had a net 74 to be two-and-a-half strokes back.

“Playing in the Orchard Shield is not as popular as it was 25 or 30 years ago,” said Lanark GC secretary George Cuthill.

“But I think it is a tradition which will continue for a long, long time.”

After a recent mild spell, Lanark golf course is in fine condition with the greens running superbly.