Balerno High School pupil Amy Foster (17) has a passion for golf! In 2015 she reduced her handicap from 27 to 14 and was named “Most Improved Player” by Midlothian County Ladies’ Golf Association (Junior Girls’ Division). Her mum, dad and one of her two brothers are also golfers.
When both of your parents golf, it’s not hard to imagine that you might get the bug too. “I was given some golf clubs when I was about 10,” says Amy Foster. “Mum and Dad took me out with them and showed me where to place my feet, how to align myself and how to swing.”
In August 2013 Amy joined the Dalmahoy Golf Club. “They gave me the highest handicap, 36,” she says. Amy practised over the winter and competed. She received good scores, and her handicap was cut to 31. By the end of the 2014 season (April-October) it had dropped to 27, and by the end of 2015 to just 14, a handicap she maintained in 2016.
“When I joined the Dalmahoy, I was the only girl,” Amy comments. “And in this area there are still not many girls that play golf. I think it’s important that we have older role models to learn from and look up to.”
Amy volunteers with “Club Golf”, a junior Scottish coaching programme that helps those aged 7-12 gain the fundamentals of the game. “At Ratho Park I teach girls the basic skills,” she explains. “I see it as a way to give something back, as a lot of people have helped me. When these girls are my age, they will remember that an older girl taught them. I was coached entirely by adults.”
Much of Amy’s coaching was through Midlothian County Girls’ Golf Association. The MCGGA has about 60 members, aged 8-19, who receive up to three hours of coaching per month from the Ladies’ Association. Because it is subsidised, it is offered at a very reasonable rate. Members get the opportunity to play in various competitions. In 2016 Amy won the Girls’ Spring Meeting, a Junior Girls’ event, at Liberton Golf Club.
“I’m very competitive,” she says, “and when I win, it makes me feel good. But it’s not all about winning. I’ve had a lot of help from others, and I know that much of my success is because of the help I have received. My family are a great support. Then there are the lady golfers who are happy to offer me a game, even though I am young. And I really appreciate all the lifts people have given me to and from competitions.”
Amy enjoys singing, playing her violin and keeping fit, and says church is an important part of her life. When she leaves high school she plans to do business management at university.
Will she continue golfing? I think so. “Next year will be my last one as a junior,” she says. “So I have to beat my brother Gregor!”
First published in Konect February 2017
Author: Suzanne Green