St Andrews is famed for many things. From West Sands to fudge doughnuts, from Sallies Quad to royal alumni, this seaside town has much to shout about. But even Wills and Kate take a backseat for many around the world when they think about St Andrews.
The Old Course is one of the most iconic settings in the world of sport. Unsurprising it may be, therefore, that St Andrews’ student golfers are immensely proud of being part of that great local tradition.
The Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs are not only steeped in success, they have proved themselves to be innovators and trail-blazers, leading the way for other clubs to follow. Last year, for example, increased sponsorship allowed the Golf Club to join an incredibly exclusive group of clubs that were able to offer their players membership at a reduced rate.
This year, the Golf Club again showed its ability to lead the way, holding a parent-fresher invitational before Freshers’ Week, facilitating not only bonding between new students before term had even began, but also the opportunity for parents to gain a unique insight into modern university sport.
Not to mention giving the parents a tantalising taste of golf in St Andrews. We caught up with one of the brains behind the project, Tanner Tremaine, to ask him some questions about the event.
The Saint: How did you come up with the idea of a parent-fresher invitational?
Tanner Tremaine: The idea for this event was actually only thought up at the beginning of the summer. Myself and another golfer, James Braby, felt there was a need for our club to have a golf tournament, along with the idea that we should involve incoming students.
From there, the idea really just took off by itself. We felt that turning the event into a parent-fresher tournament allowed parents to get involved in university golf in a way that has never been available to them before.
Overall I feel that this tournament really filled a gap in the University, having an opening golf tournament, and was a great way for us to welcome freshers to St Andrews.
TS: What were you hoping to get out of the event?
TT: When the Club set out to create this tournament, we wanted to use the game of golf as a mechanism for incoming freshers to meet each other and arrive at Freshers’ Week already knowing a group of people that share similar interests.
By structuring it in the way that we did we allowed for the parents, as well as the freshers, to have a great last day as they worked together to try and beat the other groups.
I think that we were very successful in what we set out to do. Of course there were little issues in the set up and registration process but these were always expected when it is the club’s first golf tournament. All the freshers and their parents that we talked to afterwards really enjoyed the day and said that it was a great experience.
TS: Was there a lot of interest?
TT: Despite this being the first year that we were running the event we had a really good turnout. We were able to fill about nine tee times with 36 golfers in total: half guys and half girls. Given how late we started planning for this event, we were really happy with the final numbers.
TS: What was the day like?
TT: The day ran absolutely perfectly and without any problems (besides the traditional bad weather we have here in Scotland). It’s amazing when you throw in some bad weather on the golf course how fast the groups start to play! But besides the weather, the day was an absolute blast. We had great group of golfers this year and had some really amazing scores at the end of the day.
TS: Are there plans for a parent- fresher invitational 2015, and will there be any additions/changes from this year’s event?
TT: Yeah after this year’s success we will for sure be running the tournament again next year. Hopefully each year the invitational will continue to grow and become a great way to start off the year for the freshers.
Tanner and the rest of his club deserve great credit for finding new ways of integrating new freshers, and giving them a taste of uni sport, and life, before they even get to ‘Orientation week’.