UHI and Royal Dornoch tee up golf professional degree
Scotland's first degree course for aspiring golf professionals will be made available later this year.
The BA honours qualification is a joint initiative by the Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Sutherland and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
The four-year degree will teach students about performance, coaching and equipment.
Jack Nicklaus, the winner of a record 18 major championships, has praised the creation of the new qualification.
The American golfer said: "Royal Dornoch has such a rich history in the landscape of golf, but it also has a legacy in the development of the game, shaping both the next generation of golfers and the next generation of designers.
"I fully support the University of the Highlands and Islands, in association with Royal Dornoch, in their efforts to provide education within the golf industry and beyond."
Available from September, the course will be based at the Dornoch campus of North Highland College UHI.
The campus is next to Royal Dornoch Golf Club - its championship course was ranked sixth in the world by Golf Digest last year.
To be eligible for the studies, students must have a current golf handicap of 4.4 or lower for men and 6.4 or lower for ladies.
Former European Tour golfer and 2006 PGA trainee Rookie of the Year, Lesley Mackay, has taken up a lecturing role with UHI.
She will be directly involved in the development and delivery of the new degree programme.
Ms Mackay said: "This is an exciting, enterprising and innovative degree programme, not only for the University of the Highlands and Islands but also for Scotland.
"There is no other degree programme like it in Scotland and it gives an opportunity to aspiring golfers to reach their potential, both as a golfer and academically."
Neil Hampton , general manager of Royal Dornoch Golf Club, added: "I am excited to see the university expand the courses on offer which will give many more young people interested in golf the opportunity to make the game their career, whether playing, coaching, retailing or administering."