AGM Reports

House Report to 2024 AGM


During the year we have had a few staff changes. Currently we have Caleb Stuart, Alexander Leslie and Tai Smith. We have recently advertised for additional bar staff, on a part time basis, as we see a need for the start of the new season. We have had a positive response and interviews have been taking place. 

Caleb has stepped up to the mark and has demonstrated good supervision of the staff and training in cellar and dispensing management.

In October we had an offer from Tennents to a full hands on cellar management training session. This was a free offer from Tennents and demonstrated how we could provide and ensure excellent quality of the beers being dispensed. Health and safety played a significant part in the training. 

Earlier in the year we introduced a BBQ in the outside seating area. This was with Gordon's cooperation as he was supplying the burgers, hot dogs and chicken. The reasoning behind this move was to take advantage of good weather and attract members and guests on Friday or Saturday afternoons. This included a number of visitors who had outings with us. The benefits of the BBQ were two fold. Gordon was taking revenue from the sale of the BBQ food and sales increased over the bar.

We intend to pick this up again in spring/summer when the weather gets better. 

Real ale sales are still positive and we continue to buy from Orkney Brewery.

Birra Moretti has slowed somewhat during the year but we are contracted to remain with it until April when it will be reviewed. 


Gordon continues provide an excellent service for the restaurant. The food is of a high quality and a wide choice on the menu. Also carvery's have been well received by members and guests. 

During the year we have had a number of outings and parties. These have been good for both catering and bar sales. Gordon has some ideas for the coming year with menu theme nights throughout the year. 




Senior Report to 2024 AGM

This past year was a good year Golf Course wise - the gradual improvement over the

summer was obvious- especially on the greens where the new equipment purchased by the Club made for far more enjoyable golf, for most of us anyway.

Monday morning turnout was good - averaging 37/38 in Summer and even mid 20’s in the Winter months.

We had our usual Open Tournaments in the Fixture calendar both of which were well attended. The Stableford in June had over 120 entrants and the Medal one in August was over 104 happy customers. Best Ellon performers in the Stableford were A MacKenzie in Division 2 and A Michie in Division 3 - both with 42 points In the Medal Open best were B Dunbar in Division 1 with 66 Nett. In Division 2 G Norris had 63 Nett and in Division 3 W Haining had a 62 Nett.

In our Friendly matches - both were at home.

Turriff in June when we lost 2-4


Rosehearty in July when we won 4.5 - 1.5.

The Ythan Challenge in August against Newburgh GC was lost for the second year in a row - so improvement required for this season.

September saw our Annual Golf Outing, this year to Duff House Royal in Banff. Winner of the Ali Michie Trophy here was W Haining with 36 Stableford points.

Interspersed within the season was also the Buchan Seniors and CADS matches whereby players represented the Club with varying degrees of success. Best of the bunch was John Scott who won the prestigious Kelman Cup in the BSGA when it was held at Ellon in September.

Also at our AGM we agreed to reduce our Tee Reservations booking for Monday to allow more Club members to access the system should they so wish - we reduced the time’s available by 30 minutes.

We also agreed to amend the payment system for Prize Winners and we are now coming into line with Sandys Sweepers. This will hopefully attract some newer Seniors to join us on Monday mornings.

Match & Handicap Report to 2024 AGM

All competitions were completed in time, congratulations to all winners and to all who participated.

Champion of champions, we have done well in past years in this prestigious competition and 2023 was no exception with Bradley Fraser getting to the semi-final and Brian Dunbar also getting to the semi-final, well done to both of them.

The Club Championship was played in a sporting and competitive manner the weather had been very dry but on the day, it was showery, this didn’t stop it being the usually well supported event that it is.  Well done Greg Reid who beat Richard Beattie in the scratch and to Scott Paton who beat Kenny Cowe in the handicap.

A special mention to Ronnie Wells who beat Ewan Stewart in the Seniors scratch and who attended the prize giving evening, when he gave a very good speech so thanks for that. Many thanks to all the volunteer referees for their good work on the day.

Ronnie Yule has taken over from Craig Pirie in running the team in the ‘Gordon Pennant League’ his work is very much appreciated and thanks also to the players taking part.

I would like to thank the ‘merry band’ of M&H helpers, and I hope most will continue as the competitions and the weekly medals couldn’t take place without them.

The Scottish Golf App so far remains unchanged for this coming season, there will be a grace period for the month of April till we all remember how to enter the correct comps for the day. Competition entering mistakes will be corrected if noticed throughout the medal day and evening. There will be no box for scorecards so an email must be sent to M&H for any score corrections to be done, the email should contain the correct scores for the holes 1 to 9 and 10 to 18 and you're playing partner’s name.  Nothing will be corrected without an email. is the url address for information on the changes to the WHS for the coming season, it will take you to the most boring article explaining the pointless changes being made to bring GB&I into to line with most of the golfing world.

I hope everyone has a good 2024 golf season.

Mike Keith

M&H Convenor

Greens Report to 2024 AGM

The beginning of the year saw us discussing with our neighbours how best to stem the flow of complaints caused by stray golf balls causing breakages in properties adjacent to the 6th and 7th holes. We came to an agreement under threat of a health and safety complaint that we would encourage play on the 6th to be more to the right of the current fairway. This was achieved by moving the tee approx 25yards back into the tree line, allowing the rough on the left to grow high, taking away the bunkers on the right side of the green and fairway and putting in two new bunkers down the left of the fairway. We also looked at the removal of some of the trees down the right of the fairway. This tree removal has so far not been possible due to delays in acquiring the appropriate licenses, and then the advent of nesting season. This means that there is still more thought and work to be given to this issue in the coming year.

In April we were hopeful of adding to our greenkeeping staff, but the only applicant withdrew due to being given a job elsewhere. However we have had the services of John Geddes and John Garvie, plus the weekly work done by our small (but mighty) group of Thursday volunteers through the year and this has helped us keep the quality of our course at a high level. Comments received from visitors in 2022 led us to concentrate more on the quality of our greens during 2023 and this was taken on board by myself and Bill Shepherd. Bill concentrated more on the greens during the summer and left other aspects of the course to the rest of his staff. The club were able to assist in this by purchasing a ‘greens roller/iron’ at a cost of around £17000. The results have been much appreciated by visitors and members alike, especially by players during our ‘opens’ and by CADS etc..

There has been the usual flow of machines needing repair over the year, but these have mostly been undertaken at minimum cost by careful use and small repairs carried out by Bill in the Deacon Centre. As well as the usual work around the course our greenkeeping staff have had to devote time to dealing with trees felled by storms, thus putting even more strain on the time we need to keep the course in top trim. Given the size of the course, and the comparatively low number of permanent greens staff (2) I can only commend all involved for their efforts. However, in this my last annual report I would recommend that we need a small committee headed by a convener and at least one more permanent member of greens staff if we are serious about keeping our current high, but slipping, standard of excellence.

You may remember that last year I mentioned in my report that the council was looking to improve the pathway which leads past the approach to the first tee and up to the railway line, well this year we have discovered that this plan was part of a much bigger plan of action involving the whole of the golf course. The council are looking to establish a tarmac path to be laid from the entrance to the parklands at Golf Road up past the 13th green, 14th tee and then across both the 17th and 18th fairways before exiting the golf course on to Hospital Road. In addition the council wish to break through the wall behind and toward the road at the 13th green to facilitate a new crossing to replace the current temporary crossing at that location. We have held discussions with the project manager and a small group of councillors and made our objections known. Should the path go ahead golfers on the both the 17th and 18th will have to contend with a potentially higher volume of both pedestrians and cyclists crossing these fairways, and in the case of cyclists appearing much more quickly. The group who met with the councillors and project manager have implored the council to give serious thought to using a different route which would leave both the 17th and 18th clear of danger to path users and golfers alike. We await the outcome,

Once again this year we have suffered a hard winter in terms of very wet conditions and have had to keep the front nine closed now for a couple of months. The worst of the wet appears to be in the usual places (6th, 7th and 9th). The ground is so soft that greens staff cannot drive equipment over these areas without risk of motorised equipment sinking into the mud.

As I believe I wrote last year, the winter season seems to last forever. The good news is that we are getting closer to those heady days of golfing in the sunshine once more, and I am sure that you like me are looking forward to getting the clubs  and shoes cleaned off and taking part in the many golfing events here at McDonald Golf Club in 2024.

Bill Haining

Greens convener (outgoing)


Pro-Am Report to 2024 AGM

The 2023 Pro-Am sponsored by PTS Services on August 25th was a great success. Everybody enjoyed the day, despite some heavy downpours. The winning team was the JM Taylor team, so congratulations to them. The winning Pro was Stephen Gray from Crow Wood Golf Club in Glasgow with a great score of 64.

Although the Club’s accounts show a profit of £7,329.84 another £1,100 in sponsorship is contained elsewhere in the accounts, making a fantastic total profit of £8429.84 from the event, not including any takings from the bar that day (which were considerable!)

A total of 20 teams competed, 5 from our main sponsors, and the rest from a mixture of local companies and members. Our thanks go to all the people who sponsored a team, and to those that participated on the day.

Our main sponsors were PTS Services. They supported us fantastically this year. From the 5 teams they entered, the Pro Prize that they helped with, and the very popular beer cart, they stepped up and helped make it a memorable day. Our special thanks for this to Steve O, Steve A and Atlanta.

Also, the Hole in one competition, which was the brainchild of John at John Willox Kitchen Design was very popular. Some people came close, but nobody won the prize at any of our Par 3’s. Maybe next year!

In addition, we had many other local companies and individuals sponsor a hole, donate an auction item and donate a raffle prize. This helps the club tremendously and proved very successful on the day. Sandy Aird Jr also kindly donated a 4 ball at Trump International Scotland. He ran a draw for this and it brought in over £1000. Many thanks to Sandy for this.

Gordon did a great job with the catering on the day, and he also very kindly donated the nearest the pin and longest drive prizes. The bar staff worked exceptionally hard on what was a very busy day in the clubhouse.

Also thanks to Martin Brockie for once again designing and producing the program on the day.

Last, but not least, thank you to the many members who helped us plan, organise the event, and also turned out on the day to help. Clearly an event like this would not be possible without willing volunteers, so thank you all.

Drew Leith

Pro-Am Convenor/Vice-Captain


Corporate Report to 2024 AGM

The economic environment is undoubtedly impacting on corporate spend but we did gain one further member during the year. Despite having several enquiries we were unable to convert the leads into memberships.

Three national corporate initiatives were evaluated during the year and we have agreed to participate in one of them, with another pending.

We have signed up to participate in a Golf Club Screens initiative that will see an advertising screen installed in the back corridor to the side of the score entry terminal. The club will receive a quarterly income, the scale of which depends on the value of advertising income generated. It will be national advertisers and so there should be no detrimental impact on local businesses or sponsors.

We have expressed tentative interest in a scheme to place advertising discs at the bottom of hole cups. This has gone very quiet and I suspect will not proceed.

Both of the above schemes offer the club an income stream for minimal effort and importantly no risk.

We rejected an opportunity to participate in a new national golf gift card initiative on the basis that we considered it unlikely to deliver any significant income from the administrative effort that would be involved - the scheme can be viewed at

We enhanced our entry on the golf scotland website and will evaluate whether this has delivered an inccrease in visitor numbers.

As we move forward I consider that the club would benefit from becoming an active pursuer of the many grants that are available to develop the club.

You will be aware of the excellent work on the simulator business case lead by Drew and Sandy. The National Lottery has just re-opened its Awards for All scheme and anticipate a decision by the end of April.

As our energy costs are increasing substantially we have sought funding for an energy usage survey and have submitted an application to Business Energy Scotland, a Scottish Government initiative and await the next steps.

During 2024 there are at least two further sources of funding that are possible funding opportunities for the replacement of equipment and improvements to the back 9.

If we have suitable projects we will consider an application to The Just Transitition Fund which has grants up to £50K for projects that support net zero ambitions. Replacing petrol powered equipment whould likely be in scope and the potential for robotic mowers is an interesting development on courses in the UK. The Scottish Landfill Communities Fund is also a potential option for funding improvements to the back 9 as it is only applicable to land which has public access.

Sandy McDougall

Corporate Convenor


Ladies Section Report to 2024 AGM

Firstly, I would like to thank my Ladies Committee, Jane Campbell-Vice Captain, Lorna Cockburn-Secretary, Eileen MacIntyre-Bennachie League Rep & Elaine McIntosh- Robertson Rep. I must also include Helen Singer who stood down in September as Match & Handicap Secretary & to Andrea Thomson who continues as our Buchan Senior’s Rep.

Congratulations to all our 2023 Competition & Trophy winners. A list of these can be found on the Club’s website.

Our McDonald Ladies Champion for 2023 was Fiona Campbell & Handicap Margaret Morgan winner was Jane Campbell. Very well done to both.

Thanks also go to all the ladies who continue to represent our Club in external competitions. Robertson Trophy- our ladies reaching the semifinals, Bennachie League, Buchan Seniors, Aberdeenshire County Ladies & Coronation Fours.

Fiona Campbell & myself competed in the Champion of Champions Trophy, Fiona reaching the semi-finals of both the North East & Bennachie Scratch sections. I myself in the Handicap section reached the semi-finals of the North East section & the final of the Bennachie Champion of Champions winning on the 18th!

I would say my greatest achievement this year (& my forever golfing achievement) was winning the Bennachie Champion of Champions Handicap Trophy 2023. So much so considering 2 weeks before my final match I couldn’t get out of bed, stand, walk, sleep never mind play golf but so much was my determination to get that match played & with medication & the help of ICPC Health giving me Physio & Acupuncture (& to my hubby for his care & support & driving me to all my appointments) I managed to give it my best taking it to the 18th green & being the first lady to bring the trophy back to McDonald Golf Club. I am the chufter.

At home- our Ladies Stableford Open was won by Lynn Cumming of Dunecht, Division 1 & in Division 2 by Zena Gourlay.

A team from Kemnay won our Ladies 3 Person Texas Scramble Open.

Buchan Seniors Ladies Open was well attended by 67 ladies with Gillian Grant winning Division 1.

21 ladies attended the Ellon meet of the Aberdeenshire County Ladies a change of date for Ellon this year.

Coronation Fours was won by Sandra Brockie & Shona Reid going to the area finals at Strathmore but unfortunately didn’t progress from there.

Our Ladies enjoyed a Fun Day in August playing with only 5 clubs.

16 ladies travelled for our annual weekend away to Drumoig, as always, a much enjoyed time together & looking forward to returning this year.

We also enjoyed a glass of Prosecco or two at Sandy’s Glenmuir Apparel evening in April & had one of our Stableford competitions sponsored by Miss Designer Golf on a wet day in July.

This year’s outing to the Kemnay Open was cancelled due to heavy overnight rain. Kemnay’s loss was Gordon’s gain when the ladies chose to meet down at the Club for coffee & bacon rolls on what would have otherwise been a quiet morning for him.

The Bennachie Annual Dinner & Prize Giving was held at Oldmeldrum Golf Club this year with 9 of our ladies enjoying an inter club Texas Scramble beforehand. A couple of our ladies were in the winning teams.

Ladies social events this year including our Beetle Drive, Spring & Autumn Coffee Mornings, Coronation Afternoon Tea & Ladies Xmas Meal along with our 2 Opens have raised & gifted a total of £2225.60 to Club Funds. We are grateful to all our members & guests for enabling us to do this & to the Ladies Committee in their organisation of these events.

The Ladies Section have also made donations to Scotland Charity Air Ambulance & the Red Cross through their 2 Eclectic competitions & to Breakthrough Breast Cancer from their donation day.

The new Scottish Golf App was taken to well by our ladies with thanks to Sandra in the office for traversing through the persistent changes to it & her guidance to all the members.

It has been good to see our ladies meeting up in the Clubhouse for a coffee when the weather hasn’t allowed play, it has been a fine social get together for us all.

We continue with our Rag Bag collections. Is your next clear out due? Bags in the lobby.

The weather has shown no mercy this last few months particularly to the front 9 which has unfortunately been unplayable for much of it. Bill Shepherd & his greenkeeping team along with John Geddes’ group of volunteers have worked hard to get the course in as good a condition as they could. Not an easy job considering.

Thanks also to Gordon, Caleb & Sandy along with their respective teams for looking after us within the Clubhouse & Pro Shop. To Club Council & our Ladies Committee for their time & support in representation of our members.

To Sandra on behalf of the Ladies Section, Thank You, we all appreciate you so much.

Amanda Farquhar

Lady Captain

Junior Section Report to 2024 AGM

This season has been very poor with the Juniors playing Medals on Thursday’s. Only 3 playing to a high of 7 and few with 0 playing resulting medals being cancelled. The club competitions didn’t fare any better with competitions cancelled, those that did take place some had only three playing resulting in two playing a semi -final and one getting a bye to the final.

Above was taken from last years AGM it reads the same this year.

This year’s Rotary Junior Open was cancelled as there were no entries.

The club has 105 juniors with only 14 with handicaps what can be done to encourage those 7 to play in club competitions & medals. Juniors that are playing their preference is to play golf without having to play medals or club competitions.

Pennant team 6 from - Alistair Hunter: Finlay Simpson; Matthew Zanre; Daniel Aitken; Kieran Mess; Harry Barclay.

With only six to choose from and praying nobody would call off.

The results

7/May- Home to Newmachar, McDonald won 2 & lost 1 & 1 drawn, this with us only playing with a team of 5 (6 is required).

21/May- Home to Aboyne; McDonald could only manage 5 juniors result lost 1 and squared 3 games.

28 May- Away to Portlethen McDonald had a team of 6 winning the four matches they played.

4/June- Away to Stonehaven we drew our matches with only 5 juniors.

18/June- Home Deeside McDonald had only 4 juniors result was winning 2 matches squared 1 and had to forfeit last match.

26/June -Away to Cruden Bay result we had only 4 juniors we lost 2 and won 1 and had to forfeit last match.

That ended our year season of Pennant fixtures. Boys played very well playing the majority of the matches 1 or 2 boys short.

McDonald were the host club for the North section for OFF THE TEE. We had to withdraw no juniors available 4 were required.

25/June - Club Championship Alistair Hunter & Joseph Zanre Both players were playing good golf with Alistair leading the morning round 4up, afternoon Alistair kept on the pressure and Joseph could not respond.  Alistair eventually winning 10 & 9, the score did not do Joseph any justice as he had played well.

23/July Hector Dey Trophy held at Banchory Alistair Hunter represented McDonald Alistair but finished well down the field.

27/Aug Gary Riddell 36hole final between Alistair Hunter and Harry Barclay, Alistair winning by 28 strokes.

 3/Sept, – Spence Trophy 36hole qualifier at Banchory. Junior champion Alistair Hunter had rounds of 67 and 81 finishing 4th this qualified him for the semifinal & final played at Banchory on the 1st Oct. He lost his semi final match after the first extra hole. In the playoff for third and fourth place Alistair won 3&2 to finish third.

To try and encourage more juniors to play the club held two flag days at the end of Sandy’s coaching sessions during the summer holiday. First in July 12 boys and girls played in the fun event followed by the second in August with a slight increase when 15 boys & girls took part, on both occasions they all enjoyed playing it may have been the free sweets crisps & drinks played a part in this.

A big thank you to the people who helped on the day.

Thanks goes to Bill for setting out the back nine for this to take place.

Another Flag Day was planned to be held during the October school holiday emails were sent to the under 12 age group. NOT one reply was received.  

Sending emails out and getting no replies this has happened many times it is very frustrating for the club and myself.

Juniors although small in numbers have performed exceptionally well in all the competitions, they have taken part in out with the club well done boys. I also thank them for the help they have given over the season in making my life a bit easier and being available when trying to get a team.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandra for her valuable help over the past year.

Mitch Cabel

Junior Convenor

Social Report to 2024 AGM

Regular once a month Bingo on Sunday evenings proved to be successful with an average of 40 in attendance. Many thanks to those who ran it in 2023.

We hosted many Quiz nights over the season which helped boost our bar trade profits.

The ladies section of the golf club had many events during the year which yielded excellent funds which went directly back into club funds.

Kids Christmas party was a huge success with Fantastic Face Painting, numerous musical games with Fiona the elf and her helpers and Santa Claus. All rebooked for Christmas kids party 1st December 2024.

Once monthly social events in 2023 included sessions from Catriona Molver, Amanda Penny, Chloe Collins, JD Music and Bill Bonnars 70s and 80s disco. Combined with these artists, Gordon Cuthbert Catering provided Italian Evening, Chinese dinners and 3 meat Carveries.

Most Successful of the events last year were;

Amanda Penny Christmas party with 80 in attendance

Hogmanay party with Bill Bonnar 90 in attendance

New Years’ day party open house with Ythan fiddlers, Louies Scottish country dancers and Ellon British Legion Pipe Band.

The profit made at Christmas and Hogmanay paid for all the events over the year and the New Years’ Day event.

Bar takings over the festive period were in excess of £5000, with Gordon doing well for his catering side.

Next year events are planned for the whole of 2024 including such evenings as

Valentine’s Italian meal with music from Lowriders.

Easter carvery on 29th of June with music from top artist Catriona Molver.

Several other Music Dates with Blitz2t, Billy Main, Firelight and JD music performing.

Quizes and birthday parties are now being booked for 2024

Nominations required for New social convener for 2025.

John Gatt

Social Convenor


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