A long serving Lothians greenkeeper who had his career ended by a stroke is to benefit from a testimonial later this year.
Graham Wood was Dunbar's head greenkeeper for more than 30 years and held senior positions in the British & International Golf Greenkeepers' Association (BIGGA).
He won the accolade of "National Greenkeeper of the Year" in 1993 and, at the time of his stroke 15 months ago, he was the East of Scotland Section chairman as well as being a board member of the Scottish Region.
Unfortunately, Wood has been left severely disabled by his stroke and, in a marvellous gesture, the East Lothian club is to raise money for him and his family by staging a Pro-Cel Am.
The event, which is being held in association with Thomas Sherriff & Partners, will take place on Friday, September 19 and club officials are hoping to attract some leading Scottish sports stars and celebrities.
"Graham served this club fantastically well for 32 years and this is a tragic thing that has happened to him, especially to someone who spent so much of his time out in the open walking the links of Dunbar," said club captain Ian McKane.
After serving his apprenticeship at the East Links between 1966 and 1973, Wood moved to Musselburgh. However, he returned to Dunbar in 1975 and is easily the longest-serving greenkeeper in the club's history.
"Graham was a magnificent role model for aspiring greenkeepers and I am sure that we will raise lots of money for him and his family on September 19, which he will fully deserve," added club manager John Archibald.
"Our members have been exceptionally kind in raising money for Graham and his family by contributing cash to raffles and articles that can be raffled or auctioned on the day.
"Prizes range from vouchers from local shops in Dunbar to rounds of golf at various quality golf courses to signed football and rugby shirts, to paintings of exceptional value to flights in planes over Edinburgh, East Lothian and indeed the golf course, to memorabilia from various famous golfers and major golf events."
Stuart Greenwood, the head greenkeeper at North Berwick and Wood's best friend, praised Dunbar for agreeing to hold the testimonial, saying: "Over the 30 years I have known Graham, he has maintained the respect of everyone in the greenkeeping industry. I cannot think of a more popular man and hope he makes as full a recovery as possible."
The event will take the form of two shotgun starts - one at 8.00am and the other at 2.00pm - and will include an auction in the evening.
"This is a significant event to provide assistance for Graham and his family and the support of golfers in the Lothians would be very much appreciated," added Archibald.
• THE Turnhouse Open, one of the most prestigious events on the Lothians fixture list, is 25 years old this weekend and, as always, it has attracted a strong field. In 1984, a memorable week culminated in two Scottish internationalists, Sandy Stephen (Broomieknowe) and Kenny Walker (Royal Burgess), contesting a closely-fought final with the former edging home on the 17th green.
Since then, the event has produced an outstanding roll of honour, the winners including Joe McManus (1986 and 1995), Craig Elliot (1994 and 2007), Mark Timmins (1997 and 1998) and current Scottish champion John Gallagher (2003).
Qualifying takes place on Saturday and Sunday and the event is being sponsored again this year by M&M Road Surfacing.
source:- Evening News