June 27, 2018

World’s greatest golfers to face unusual challenge at this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Men’s and Ladies Scottish Opens

Aberdeen Standard Investments, together with the Scottish Government and East Lothian Council, has developed a unique initiative to help encourage greater enthusiasm for maths amongst school children, by applying their arithmetic skills in support of this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Men’s and Ladies Scottish Open Championships at Gullane.

Backed by The European Tour, LET, LPGA and VisitScotland, the ‘Maths on Flags’ programme has seen 18 schools across East Lothian devise a series of maths calculations that equate to the pin number for each hole of the championship course. The equations will replace the standard 1 – 18 numbering on all pin flags for the first day of play at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Men’s and Ladies Scottish Opens. The names of the schools who have submitted the calculations will also feature on the flag designs.

The competition – part of Scottish Government’s ‘Making Maths Count’ initiative – was opened up to primary and secondary schools across East Lothian to encourage pupils to think about maths in a new, fun way and build anticipation for the tournament double-header on Scotland’s Golf Coast. A panel of four judges from the competition organisers selected their favourite calculations to be used at the Championships.

Pupils at Athelstaneford Primary School, near Haddington, successfully submitted an equation for the 9th hole, and were rewarded with a visit from Ladies European Tour and LPGA player Beth Allen to show off their selected calculation 1/6 of 54 for the 9th hole.

The children, along with pupils from other participating schools across the region, have been invited to see their work in action by attending the Men’s tournament on Thursday 12 July.

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, said:

“This is an innovative programme which encourages children and young people to look at maths in a different way which is not only unique but fun.

“The Maths on Flags initiative also highlights the importance of numeracy in everyday life and I want to thank the pupils who helped devise the calculations for the tournaments.

“This is just one of a number of activities and events taking place locally and nationally to help make Scotland a maths-positive nation where numeric skills and confidence are valued and celebrated.”

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Beth Allen, who will feature amongst the field for the Ladies Scottish Open, said:

“This is a great initiative which gets young people thinking about maths in a different way. Maths and arithmetic play a big part in golf, whether working out yardage or marking your card. I’m really intrigued to see the variety of calculations the school children have prepared and look forward to trying to work them out when I play round Gullane in July.”

Aberdeen Standard Investments, Co-Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, is represented on the Scottish Government’s Making Maths Count expert group. He said:

“I am delighted that through our sponsorships of both the men’s and ladies’ Scottish Opens we could do our bit to make maths more engaging for pupils which is absolutely crucial. I was lucky enough to have an inspirational maths teacher at school and that has certainly been of huge benefit to me throughout my career. Initiatives of this kind raise awareness of the importance of these essential skills and I’m delighted Aberdeen Standard Investments is contributing to the Making Maths Count initiative.”

With so many schools contributing positively to the programme across the region, Councillor Shamin Akhtar from East Lothian Council was quick to praise the initiative:

“With eagerly-anticipated golf tournaments taking place in East Lothian this summer, the ‘Maths on Flags’ programme has been a fantastic opportunity for local schools to devise calculations and get thinking about maths in new ways. As Scotland’s Golf Coast it’s an appropriate way of linking these events with a fun learning activity, hopefully creating some further interest in both maths and golf along the way.”