The International Pairs Club event is regarded as the Major for amateur golfers. It’s the biggest club competition of its kind in the world and is now in its fifteenth year.
It offers every Golf Club in the country the chance to select their representative members for a chance to play in one of its Regional Finals. These are staged at some of the leading venues in the UK.
They lead to the possibility for golfers to make it through to the World Final - where they take on golfers from up to 30 countries.
It is the World Final that, thanks to some quick witted opportunism by members of Argyll and Bute Council, is to be held at Kintyre’s unique Machrihanish Dunes Golf Course at Campbeltown in October 2013.
In a short eleven months time, Campbeltown will need to have its act in very good order.
Opportunities like this do not come often. These are primarily the folk who play golf – and there will be plenty to watch them play.
They will all have clubs to go back to, places to go home to – all to talk about what 2013 was like in Campbeltown.
The word of mouth from a fabulous time experienced at this four day event [7th to 10th October 2013] will carry long into the future. Conversely, a limp response will take the wind out of Campbeltown’s sails, just as they are filling on the winds of better fortunes.
This is all about quality,welcome, service, events, fun – the best of everything, Campbeltown has everything it needs to put on one corker of a show – and lots of us non-golfers will not be able to resist piggy-backing on what they can offer.
How did they do it?
Details of how this entire competition works are below – but the big issue is how did the council pull this one off. This is a major coup. As an international competition for pairs from clubs from 30 countries, this event has the capacity to put the Machrihanish courses – and Campbeltown and Kintyre on the map.
The finals have been held at the Carrick Golf Course on Loch Lomond for the last three years.
SNP Council Leader Roddy McCuish and his administration colleague, Argyll First Councillor Dougie Philand, got chatting to the event organiser, who was keen to stay in Scotland but wanted a change.
Anxious to keep the event in Argyll, the quick-response pair alerted the organiser to the high class golf courses on Islay and Campbeltown.
It became a first class team game.
Former Provost of Argyll and Bute Council, Billy Petrie of the Alliance of Independent Councillors, was instrumental in bringing the tournament to Loch Lomond; and when Dougie Philand was looking for contacts in Campbeltown, his Argyll First colleague, Councillor Donald Kelly, put him in touch with the Machrihanish Dunes people.
The rest is the start of what can be a stellar history. The man in question followed contacts Councillors McCuish and Philand gave him – and created a very good news story for Kintyre.
How the International Pairs Club World Finals works
Golf clubs register for the event – at £250+VAT a pop – which allows them to enter as many pairs as they wish for one of three regional finals in the UK. These can be men’s, women’s or mixed pairs. Clubs registering by the end of January 2013 get an Early Bird discount of £50.
The winning pair at each of the three Regional Finals will represent their country at the World Final – which will be at Mach Dunes in October 2013, competing against pairs from 30 other countries.
There are Argyll pairs who could win this event – and a home win in an event like this, at a course like this, in a place like Kintyre is with gearing up for. Let’s see Argyll and other Scottish clubs getting their Early Bird registrations in as soon as the memory of Hogmanay starts to feel less dehydrated.