A KILBARCHAN man has been congratulated by some of golf’s leading figures after receiving a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list.

It was a special start to 2019 for William Mitchell with a royal seal of approval for his services to the handicapping and course-rating system.

Over more than 30 years, Mr Mitchell has held a huge number of voluntary posts in golf at club, regional, national and international level.

His involvement in the implementation of the Council of National Golf Unions’ handicapping system means he has contributed to the enjoyment of millions of golfers across Europe, helping to make the sport fairer and competitive for all ages.

Mr Mitchell, who has been a member of Johnstone’s Cochrane Castle Golf Club since 1953, has also supported the training and education of course-rating volunteers all over Scotland and further afield in countries such as Portugal and Greece.

He was the first UK representative invited to join the USGA Course Rating Committee.

Calum Grant, Scottish Golf’s handicapping and course rating officer, said: “Bill’s enthusiasm and love for the game is second to none. His selfless contribution to golf in Scotland and further afield makes him a worthy recipient of this award.”