Harry Bannerman
BGC Honorary Member

Ryder Cup Team player: Old Warson Country Club, St Louis, Missouri 1971

Harry was a naturally talented youngster, discovering golf at the age of 14 and playing off scratch by 17. He rose through the amateur ranks quickly and played for the Scottish Boys’ International Team in 1959. After winning the Scottish Alliance Championship in 1965, a group of Aberdeen businessmen offered to sponsor him on the Pro Tour and his life changed. He was Scottish Pro Champion in 1967, and once again in 1972 by a margin of 10 strokes from a very strong field including Bernard Gallacher, Brian Barnes and Sam Torrance

He amassed numerous Scottish titles, and on five occasions reached the last day of The Open, his best result being tied 11th at Royal Birkdale in 1971. This qualified him automatically to play in the Ryder Cup against USA in St. Louis, Missouri. Although we lost, Harry’s rookie performance of two and a half points for the team was a very creditable performance, particularly as the halved match was against the legendary Arnold Palmer and one of the defeats, playing alongside Peter Townsend, against none other than Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Harry also played at The Masters, and tied 33rd.

Over the years Harry partnered such greats as Henry Cotton, PW Thomson, Gary Player, Sam Snead, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf and Tony Jacklin to name just a few. In later years he moved into coaching after a back injury ruled out competitive golf, and he gained an enviable reputation in this field, specialising in junior golf. He spent 16 years in Germany and returned to Banchory where he had been our Professional from 1970 to 1974. Now living in Cruden Bay, he was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his outstanding achievements and can sometimes be seen in the Clubhouse chatting to members and guests.

Bruce Davidson
BGC Honorary Member

PGA Master Professional
Winner: BGC Junior Champion
Winner: BGC Club Champion

Bruce’s love of golf started as a sports-mad 12-year-old, when he managed to get hold of an old set of hickory clubs. He would take them out to his back garden at Banchory, perfecting his swing while trying not to take divots out of the grass. He soon graduated to an actual course, becoming a Junior Member at Banchory Golf Club and winning the 1977 Boys’ Junior Championship four years later.

This victory earned him selection to the Northeast District boys’ team and a trip to the Texas Tour where he succeeded in winning a tournament. While competing in Texas, U.S. Ryder Cup player Jackie Burke saw Bruce play and suggested he give college a try. Jackie helped Bruce get a scholarship to Houston’s St. Thomas University where he studied Business and Economics. Five years after his Junior Championship win, Bruce finished his studies in America and returned home where he won the Club Championship and the Banchory Men’s Open. His career path was set.

Bruce joined the professional ranks and became an assistant to Harry Bannerman, Banchory’s ex-professional, at Cruden Bay. “It doesn’t seem like yesterday when I ran into Sandy Jones (PGA chief executive) at the Carnoustie Challenge in 1985,” said Bruce. “I had just turned pro, and like a lot of boys was not sure whether to go down the PGA route or not. Sandy convinced me to join the PGA and it was the best thing I ever did. I don’t think I would have made a living as a Tour player so the PGA route was the correct decision for me.”

Once becoming a Class A PGA Professional, Bruce opened his shop at the King’s Links on Aberdeen’s shoreline, founding the Kings Links Golf Centre with its large driving range. Five of his assistants would go on to qualify for the European Tour, including 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie. The Club at King’s Links made Bruce Emeritus Golf Professional in honour of his achievements.

Opportunities exist around the world for talented teachers, and in 1998 Bruce was appointed Professional and National Coach at St Andrew’s Golf Club in Trinidad. He remained there for three years before returning to Houston and River Oaks Country Club as Director of Golf. Bruce knew Houston well and enjoyed being back at the Club where he had worked whilst studying. He acknowledges the influence of the Harmon family in his career. “Dick and the Harmon family are always very close to my heart, and I learned how to teach because of Dick and his dad Claude,” he said. Bruce’s own teaching skills soon became sought after. One of his professional students at River Oaks was two-time Major champion Mark O’Meara, and he can also count Ian Woosnam and Keith Fergus as students over the years.

Houston has had a long-standing connection with Aberdeen since the expansion of the North Sea oil and gas business, and Bruce’s idea of pulling the two centres together with a developmental programme for young golfers led to the creation of the Grampian Houston Junior Golf Foundation in 1992. Between 1992 and 2017 over 160 North and Northeast Junior Golfers visited Texas to play golf and learn about the collegiate golf system in America. Over 40 went on to graduate from U.S. colleges.  Banchory Golf Club had three juniors selected during that timeframe.

Bruce retired from River Oaks Country Club when an opportunity arose to work with The Friedkin Group, based in Houston. His close friends Dan Friedkin and the late Bob McNair both wanted, like Bruce, to give something back to golf. They suggested he go find a site for a new course, which he and his friend, business partner and fellow PGA Pro John McNeely did. An old hunting estate, 30 minutes outside Savannah, Georgia in the South Carolina Lowcountry became Congaree, a club with one member and a selective group of Ambassadors who share a passion for giving back through the game of golf. Since its founding, Congaree has become of the most celebrated new clubs in America and has hosted two PGA TOUR events. It is also the world’s first truly philanthropic golf club. The Congaree Foundation has a mission to positively impact the lives of young people locally and around the globe through the game of golf and has helped dozens of students from the U.K. through the annual Congaree Global Golf Initiative.

A year after leaving River Oaks, Bruce was awarded Master Professional status by the PGA of Great Britain at a ceremony held at St. Andrews during the 2015 Open Championship. The award was established to recognise PGA Members who have made a significant effort to improve as golf professionals and maintain the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations. The organization lists only 44 members with this honour, and Bruce joined the likes of David Leadbetter and Pete Cowen.

Although he will be remembered for his golf entrepreneurial impact, creating businesses and his administration of these, Bruce remains an accomplished player. He competed in three Senior Opens, and was the only Club Professional to make the cut in the 2015 Senior Open held at Sunningdale Golf Club. He was made an Honorary Member of Banchory Golf Club in 1997, reflecting forever the high regard in which the Club holds his immeasurable legacy to golf.

James Byrne
BGC Honorary Member

Member of the winning GB&I Walker Cup Team 2011

James was born in Gorleston, England but at three weeks old he relocated with his parents to their home in Banchory, Scotland. From an early age he showed promise in both swimming and golf, and whilst achieving success in the former he chose to focus upon a career on the golf course in 2004. At the age of eight he gained membership to our Club and competed in his first competition at the age of nine. His technique and ability improved with coaching from David Naylor, and laterally the Inchmarlo Professional, Andrew Locke, and he represented Scotland across all age groups. James was selected for the GB&I team twice, and gained his first major tournament victory at the Scottish Boys’ Strokeplay Championship.

He studied Marketing at Arizona State University from 2007-11 and was a successful member of their golf team. On his visits back home, his success continued: during 2010 he was runner-up in the Amateur Championship, enjoyed further selections for Europe and GB&I, and played for Scotland in the World Amateur Team Championships in Argentina.

James was chosen to play for GB&I in the 2011 Walker Cup victory at Royal Aberdeen GC over a US side featuring Jordan Spieth, Harris English and Patrick Cantlay. His strong performance in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles that year convinced him to turn Professional and he signed with IMG in September 2011. He enjoyed a couple of wins on Asian Tour but decided to change direction in 2017 to work with Bangkok-based apparel company Fenix. After four years with them he moved back to the UK, and after a short spell at Wentworth has joined the DP World Tour as an Assistant Producer.

Paul Lawrie, OBE
BGC Honorary Member

Winner: Qatar Masters, Doha Club 1999
Winner: Open Champion, Carnoustie 1999
Ryder Cup Team player: The Country Club, Brookline Massachusetts 1999 and Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois 2012

Paul left school at 17 and began working as an Assistant Professional at Banchory GC under the watchful eye of Doug Smart. He soon became a touring professional and won his first title in the Scottish Assistant’s Championship at Cruden Bay, the PGA’s longest running event being one of the hardest to win: players are only eligible to compete in the championship during their three years of training.

He became a member of the European Tour in 1992, quietly improving but not attracting much attention, aside from a 6th place finish in the 1993 Open Championship. He picked up his debut tour win at the 1996 Catalan Open, but his career was transformed in 1999. After winning the European Tour’s Qatar Masters early in the season, he went on to famously win the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie in a four-hole playoff against Jean Van de Velde and Justin Leonard. An unusual aspect of Paul’s victory was that he was neither leader nor co-leader at any time during his regulation 72 holes, only moving into a share of the lead when the leaders came back to him after he had completed his final round. Also, he came back from the largest third-round deficit ever faced by a major championship winner; going into the final day, he trailed the leader, Jean Van de Velde, by 10 shots. He holds the record for the biggest final-round comeback on the PGA Tour.

After winning The Open Paul’s game continued to improve, and he found himself at The Masters, and twice played in the Ryder Cup’s European team. Amongst his career nineteen professional wins, he also finished ninth on the European Tour Order of Merit in 1999; sixth in 2001, when he captured the lucrative Dunhill Links Championship; and tenth in 2002, when he won his fifth European Tour title at the Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open. He remains the last player from Scotland to win a major and, at the 2009 Open Championship, scored what is believed to be only the eighth albatross (double eagle) in the competition’s entire history.

Within the local area Paul’s commitment to golf and developing young talent had always been admired, and his subsequent creation of the Paul Lawrie Foundation was a key step in supporting and sustaining an interest and enthusiasm for the game amongst under-18s across a far wider area. The Foundation has grown rapidly, and now includes football and hockey. Banchory Golf Club are justifiably proud of Paul’s achievements in golf and he was made an Honorary Member in 1999, renaming the 14th hole in his honour, the site of the old practice ground where he spent so many hours practicing as an Assistant.

Linda Urquhart
BGC Honorary Member

Winner: Ladies Club Championship 26 times
Winner: County Championship 3 times
Winner: BGC Ladies 36 hole open 7 times

Linda is a prodigious golfing talent in the North East of Scotland. For almost 50 years she has dominated the local golfing accolades and trophies. Joining Banchory Golf Club around 1966, she applied for permission to play in Banchory’s Club competitions in 1975 and took only 12 months to win the Ladies’ Bronze trophy. She followed this in 1978 with the first of her Club Championship titles, which she has won 26 times.

In 1986 the Club’s committee presented Linda with a Coalport figure of a lady golfer to mark her outstanding achievements in golf. In the following few years she added to these by winning the County Championships three times at Ballater, Murcar and Portlethen and continual practice during this period enabled Linda to drop her handicap to scratch. By 1999 she had recorded a new course record of 66 over the Ladies’ course, which stands to this day. She has won the Banchory Ladies (36 hole) Open seven times, the only Banchory Lady to achieve this and most recently she has won the Club’s 2022 Senior Ladies Handicap Trophy.

An excellent ambassador for our Club on the Scottish circuit, Linda’s Aberdeenshire County Team membership for 22 consecutive years between 1984 and 2006 is unparalleled. She was successful in a number of the Vets Championships, winning the Northern Division in 2011 which gave her entry to compete at the Scottish Vets Championship in Blairgowrie that same year, where she was runner-up. Linda also represented the Vets (Scotland Team) in a friendly match in Ireland, 2012 and also in the Vets Jamboree at Kelso the same year.

The Club are justifiably proud to call Linda one of our own and are delighted to see her maintain this high level of success over such a long and respected golfing career.

Greig Hutcheon
BGC Honorary Member

Winner: Scottish PGA Championship – 3 times
Winner: Scottish Northern Open – 3 times

As a junior member at Banchory Golf Club it was clear that young Greig had a talent. He had left Banchory Academy to join the Golf Club on a Youth Training Scheme programme and learned the game under the guidance of the late Doug Smart, the Banchory professional who also nurtured the talent of 1999 Open Golf Champion, Paul Lawrie. By 1989 at the age of 16 Greig took up a golf scholarship at Lamar University in Texas, where he studied for two years, during which time he had won the Club’s Spence Trophy, and in 1990 was selected to play for Scotland in the Boy’s Home internationals.

Greig returned to Scotland in 1991, and announced his comeback by winning the Club Championship with a new record score, aged 18. He was selected to play for his country again in the Boys’ Home Internationals, as well as the Scottish Youths’ Team for three consecutive years. In 1994, Greig turned professional and moved to Kent to train with Peter Gill at Knole Park in Sevenoaks. He made his debut on the main tour in the 1998 Heineken Classic in Australia, and secured his first victory in the Formby Hall Challenge in 1999, gaining him his first European Tour card. He won his second Challenge Tour title in 2001 at the Credit Suisse Private Banking Open, and his third in April 2003 at the Panalpina Banque Commerciale du Maroc Classic on the famous Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat. Banchory Golf Club awarded Greig an Honorary Life Membership in 2004 in recognition of his achievements in the world of golf.

Greig has won both the Scottish PGA Championship and the Northern Open three times, as well as the “Tartan Tour” Order of Merit seven times. Recently returned to his native Aberdeen, he is attached to Torphins Golf Club. He missed out at the US Champions Tour 2022 qualifying school, but fared much better at the European Legends Tour final qualifying at Gloria Golf Resort in Belek, Turkey 2023. His eight-under total was enough to finish in a tie for third, earning him his card and the chance to play alongside Paul Lawrie, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie.

Sam Locke
BGC Honorary Member

Winner: Scottish Amateur Championship, Prestwick 2017
Winner: Silver Medal, Open Championship, Carnoustie 2018

Sam Locke was born in 1998 and came to prominence by winning the leading amateur’s Silver Medal at the 2018 Open Championship. He was the only amateur to survive the 36-hole Final Qualifying that year and then the only amateur to make the cut at Carnoustie. He turned professional after the Championship.

As a junior at Banchory he would regularly be seen out practicing the game that would bring him success only a few year later. He comfortably won the 2017 Scottish Amateur beating Ryan Lumsden, 9 and 8, in the final after being 10-up after the first 18 holes.

As a Professional he is now attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre not far from Banchory Golf Club, and in the good company of another former Banchory buddy. He won the inaugural event on Paul’s Tartan Pro Tour circuit at Carnoustie in August 2020, before also claiming victory at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in 2021 and a third title triumph at the Dundonald Links Classic 2022. last year. He’s now become the first three-time winner on the TPT circuit.