Balhousie resident takes trip down memory lane at Gleneagles

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Evelyn Aitken, a resident at Balhousie Ruthven Towers Care home in Auchterarder and former champion golfer, took a very special trip down memory lane last week as she visited Gleneagles for lunch and a buggy ride around the world-famous PGA Centenary Course, one of the hotel’s three championship golf courses.

Growing up in Crieff, Evelyn played golf from a very young age and wasa founder member of the Dunbracken Ladies Golf Club. She became a member at Auchterarder Golf Club after she got married and moved to the town. Evelyn went on to become Ladies Champion at the local club a total of 22 times between 1963 and 1997 and played at junior and senior international level for Scotland during the 1960s and 1970s.

“I played off scratch for a number of years and got out on the course whenever time would allow, but had to juggle being a wife and mother at the same time,” Evelyn explained. “Golf is great for getting you out, breathing in fresh air and making friends. I played most days, but always made sure dinner was on the table every evening.

Now in her mid-80s, Evelyn is modest when it comes to discussing her incredible golfing moments. “I only had four hole-in-ones during my golfing days and I remember being presented with a bottle of whisky for achieving one of them. There’s a lot of luck involved in achieving a hole-in-one, but it was always a fantastic feeling when that happened.”

Having competed in competitions at Gleneagles over the years, the five-star property was delighted to welcome Evelyn for a golf buggy ride followed by lunch in the Dormy Clubhouse. Evelyn rounded off her visit with a refreshing Gin & Tonic, just as she always did after a round of golf.

Lisa McGraw, Lifestyle and Leisure Lead at Balhousie Ruthven Towers, accompanied Evelyn on her nostalgic golfing visit. “Evelyn and I had a wonderful buggy ride where Evelyn told us her many stories of playing at Gleneagles and Auchterarder,” said Lisa. “She was even telling us about the yardage of shots she had taken from the different tees. Auchterarder Golf Club has also said that Evelyn is welcome any time to sit in the club house and watch players tee-off and head down the fairway, so we are hoping to visit there some time too.”

Evelyn enjoyed every moment of her trip to Gleneagles even though, due to poorer health, she wasn’t able to pick up a club and take a few shots herself. “The tour on the golf buggy was as good as playing a round of golf. It was great just being out on the course. I had such a lovely day.”