The future of Scottish golf has been boosted with the news that sportscotland will inject £1 million into the game over five years.

The money will provide coaching expertise and sports science in a bid to help players move from amateur to professional status.

Initiated by Scottish Government and National Lottery resources, the funding brings the option of warm weather training camps during the off-season.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “As Scotland gears up to stage five Women’s British Open championships over the next decade and host the Ryder Cup in 2014, this investment puts us in a great position to attract more professional players.”

With US-based Martin Laird the solitary Scot in the world’s top 100 – and with only two others in the leading 200 – the initiative comes at a much-needed time.

North Berwick’s Catriona Matthew, the current women’s British Open champion, attended the funding launch, which also sees £1 million go into Scottish golf development.

Salmond reflected on the initiative’s development purpose: “It will also build on the success of clubgolf, our national junior programme, which has introduced golf to record numbers of children in Scotland – almost 40,000 primary five pupils last year.

“This excellent package of support at every level puts us well on the way to re-establishing Scotland as the world’s greatest golfing nation.”

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