On the Tee with Ellie Docherty

The Solheim Cup

The 2019 Solheim Cup kicks off today at Gleneagles, the pinnacle of women’s golf, the tournament will see the best players from across Europe and the USA going head-to-head. This is the 16th edition of the event and it promises to be one of the highlights on the this years world's sporting calendar.

Not only is this a celebration of women in golf, it is also an opportunity to actively promote the game of golf as easily accessible for females of all ages. And what better place to start than in Moray Speyside with it's diverse range of courses and friendly, sociable club houses. We caught up with local female golfer, Ellie Docherty to find out why golf is her chosen sport.

A 20-year-old amateur golfer from Lossiemouth and a member of Moray Golf Club. Ellie is a Golf Operations Assistant at Castle Stuart Golf Links, who won the Moray Ladies Club Championships at the age of 16, becoming one of the youngest to have ever achieved the title. In her short time playing golf, she has also won the Moray Ladies Matchplay cup, the Northern Counties Ladies Handicap Championship at Forres and the Northern Counties Girls Championships at Invergordon, playing these courses for the first time.

For the past 2 years she has been selected to play for the Northern Counties Ladies team, and in 2017 played in the British Ladies Amateur Strokeplay.

Ellie was also asked by Visit Scotland to star in their new Female golf video and campaign #HerScotland. Here she shares what it is she loves about golf and her thoughts on what the courses in Moray Speyside have to offer.

How did you get into golf?
I started playing golf at the age of 14. My Grandfather was the club captain at Moray Golf Club 3 times, and he used to take me out with him to practice chipping. It all evolved from there.

What is it you like about golf?
I love the competitiveness of it, I really enjoy going to different clubs all around Scotland and competing. I have also made lots of new friends as it is such a social sport. Being outdoors in the fresh air and getting exercise whilst doing something I enjoy is just a bonus.

How did it feel to be asked to be part of the new Visit Scotland Campaign #HerScotland?
I was absolutely delighted! It’s a fantastic campaign to encourage Females into golf.

Do you find being female a barrier in golf?
In short, yes. However, it’s not that females aren’t accepted in the sport. As a junior I received the standard teasing from the junior boys and wasn’t taken as seriously. The problem was the lack of competitions aimed at junior girls due to small numbers. I feel like that is changing now, which is great.

What one bit of advice would you give other young female golfers starting out?
I would advise young girls to practice hard but also make sure to have lots of fun and enjoy playing the game. Do not be discouraged by the lack of other girls, it is worth the effort and you will meet some amazing people along the way.

Who is your golfing hero?
That would have to be Kelsey McDonald. We shared the same coach when I was a junior and she was someone I always admired. We starred in the Visit Scotland #HerScotland video together and she has since become a great friend of mine.

What are your golfing aspirations?
I would love to have a career in golf, I enjoy playing competitively and my dream would be to achieve my Ladies European Tour (LET) card. I would also love to get into coaching and encourage more young girls to take up golf.

What’s your favourite course in Moray?
That would have to be Moray Golf Course. I am rather biased as it is my home club, but there are a variety of great courses her in the Region.

What is your favourite hole in Moray?
That’s a tough one as Moray is home to so many great holes. However, to me, the 18th hole at Moray Golf Club is one of the best in Scotland.

What has been your biggest golfing achievement?
I’m very proud to have won the Moray ladies club championship for the first time when I was 16, becoming one of the youngest ever champions. This occasion was made extra special for me as my Grandfather caddied for me.

How would you describe the courses in Moray Speyside?
I would have to say that the courses in Moray are underrated. I guarantee that any golfers who visit will enjoy the uniqueness of the courses here.

Well, we can't argue with that! Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a complete novice,
why not make Moray Speyside your golf break destination and discover some hidden gems.