Sir Kenneth Branagh Signs Up For Golspie Celebrity Golf Tournament

Northern Times, 30 August 2012

Actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh, is among a galaxy of stars who have pledged to take part in a special celebrity charity golf tournament at Golspie Golf Club in 2014 – Scotland’s Year of Homecoming and Commonwealth Games.

Joining him will be 'Taggart' stars John Michie – currently playing cheating Karl Munro in 'Coronation Street' – and Blythe Duff, plus Jack Shepherd from 'Wycliffe', and 20 other showbiz and sports stars.

The tournament will be in aid of the Maggie’s Centre in Inverness, which supports cancer victims and their families, and also the setting up of the Silver Rock Foundation – an organisation for youngsters in Golspie.

It is the idea of Jimmy Yuill, another 'Taggart' and 'Wycliffe' actor who is also well-known for his role in 'Hamish Macbeth', and countless movies including 'Local Hero'. He is a native of Golspie and a member of the local golf club.

It is his way of saying thank you to Maggie’s Highland.

He told the Northern Times: “Through my work in film and TV over the years I’ve been lucky enough to have played in many celebrity golf days. While being enjoyed by everybody, they also raised thousands of pounds for charities.

“A couple of years ago, while walking along the shore at Golspie beside the golf course, I could see dozens of golfers on the course, a 10K road race on Ferry Road, mountain bikers on the Ben (Bhraggie) and I could hear the distant hum of the karting meet at Little Ferry.

“And I thought, where in the world could all these events happen simultaneously, within one and a half square miles, other than in Golspie, a tiny village in the north Highlands of Scotland?

“I’ve always thought my home club would be the ideal place for a celebrity golf tournament and gradually the idea of one at Golspie Golf Club in aid of Maggie’s Centre and a local children’s foundation began to grow.”

And why Maggie’s?

“Purely personal reasons – over the past two years I’ve had reason to spend time there and the practical support, friendliness, smiles and peace received from Maggie’s will never be forgotten. I promised them I would arrange a fundraising golf day and here we are.”

He continued: “The remoteness of our area and our modest population could be seen as restrictive, but I see these two aspects as positives – the beauty and seclusion of our part of the world will make this event a unique experience and showcase our fantastic golf course and surrounding areas.

“Since I have returned home to live I have seen how much our village punches well above its weight when it comes to raising money for good causes. With our committed team and the many dedicated volunteers, I know we will give visitors the warmest of Sutherland welcomes.”

Once the idea of a celebrity golf day formulated, James quickly contacted many of his friends in the world of TV and film and Sir Kenneth was the first to say yes. They have known each other for years and Jimmy has appeared in many of Sir Kenneth’s movies including the Shakespearean ones.

A committee of 11 has already been set up to move the project forward.

The competition, a stableford, will take place on Saturday, May 17th, 2014. It will consist of 24 teams of four, one member of which will be a celebrity. Entry per team will be £1000 with many prizes up for grabs. Following the golf, players and guests will enjoy refreshments, a meal, entertainment, a top range auction of special and in some cases unique items and a dance.

It is hoped that as many competitors as possible will stay locally and perhaps return in the future.

Highland Council members are already pledging their support.

Caithness and Sutherland area committee convener, Deirdre Mackay (East Sutherland and Edderton), said: “2014 is set to be a great year for sport with both the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup taking place in Scotland.

“It would be fantastic to see Jimmy’s dream of a celebrity golf challenge take place in Golspie in the same year.

“In addition to the attraction of the golfing celebrities, there would be so many positive spin-offs for both the village and wider county. Highland Council has considerable experience in event management and, if required, will be happy to provide advice and guidance.”

Just before going to press, Jimmy said: “I am working on Kenneth’s latest project – a film of the Tom Clancy book Jack Ryan. I’m heading off to Moscow for a few days next week and I am looking forward to working with Kevin Costner, one of the stars of the movie. I understand he is a single handicap golfer who loves Scotland – I shall be twisting his arm to come to the Highlands in 2014.”

* One team of three will be given an opportunity in a fortnight to gain free entry into the celebrity event. A qualifying competition is to take place at Golspie Golf Club on Saturday 15th September, where amongst many prizes the winning one is the £1000 entry fee to the celebrity day.

Everyone is welcome to take part. Entry fee is £45 per team (£60 non-members). All proceeds go to the charities.

To take part in this competition and for information on the celebrity day, phone 01408 633266 or email

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