GOLF

Ewen Ferguson and training camp colleague Gabrielle Macdonald
Ewen Ferguson and training camp colleague Gabrielle Macdonald

Walker Cup winner Ewen Ferguson put winter woes behind him this week as he jetted off for a sunshine winter training camp.

And the Bearsden golfer is hoping that the trip to United Arab Emirates will once again help bring him success on the course in 2016.

The 19-year-old has joined Scotland’s top male and female golfers for a three-week Scottish Golf winter training camp in the Middle East country.

It’s the same route the Bearsden teenager followed last year when his experiences helped him to his best-ever season.

This culminated in the key role he played in helping Great Britain & Ireland to lift the Walker Cup by beating the United States at Royal Lytham in August.

And he admitted that the camp was one of the factors he took into account in deciding not to turn professional at this stage of his career.

“One of the reasons I stayed amateur was the fact I have a winter programme ahead,” said Ferguson, who will be part of the Scotland national squad for performance training and competition in Abu Dhabi, Australia and South Africa.

“It has allowed me to plan and look ahead to next season.

“I then look forward to having another shot at The Amateur Championship and the US Amateur, and planning my schedule around the big events next season.”

The intensive winter training camp is part funded through support from the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation, Aberdeen Asset Management and sportscotland.

Helped by key members of the Scottish Golf coaching team – including National Coach Ian Rae, National Ladies Coach David Patrick and input from staff at the sportscotland institute of sport – the group will focus on short game practice and playing Tour-style courses, as well as strength and conditioning work.

“This is another great opportunity for the players to work on fitness and their golfing skills for an extended period,” continued Steve Paulding, Scottish Golf Performance Manager.

“The venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer magnificent courses and superb practice facilities, and we have seen particular improvement in short game results from the camps in previous years.

“We are very grateful to the support of these venues and indebted to our supporters who ultimately help make this trip possible – Aberdeen Asset Management, the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and sportscotland.”