Close House hosts PGA Senior Championship

I could not be more delighted that the Colt Course at Close House in Newcastle, UK will this week host its first major professional golf event with the prestigious PGA Senior Championship taking place. The team at Close House have done a spectacular job of preparing the course, and it’s in great shape for the four rounds of the Championship. Best of luck to all competitors.

Golf in Gullane with Sandy Lyle and the All Blacks

On Wednesday 12th November it was a privilege to play golf with two-time major champion Sandy Lyle and four of the touring All Blacks who are in Edinburgh for the Autumn International against Scotland. Ahead of their match on Saturday,  Richie McCaw, TJ Perenara, Israel Dagg and Beaudon Barrett utilised their day off to join me for 18 holes on Gullane number 1 – the course due to host the Scottish Open in 2015. Sandy played nine holes with all the players and was generous with his time and comments. Well done to Beaudon for being the All Black to pick up the most stableford points and winning the 2014 Masters cap signed by Sandy. Thanks to Gullane Golf Club for graciously hosting what was a very special day.

Close House – Have a Heart Day

What a pleasure to attend yesterday the 4th annual Children’s Heart Unit Foundation (CHUF) charity Golf Day at Close House. Hundreds of golfers and celebrities played golf on both the SMGD designed Colt and Filly Courses, including the club’s ambassador Lee Westwood. The courses were immaculately presented by the fantastic Close House team, and I was delighted to hear so many positive comments about the courses. No hole-in-one was recorded on the Colt’s par 3 9th hole meaning the million pound challenge was unclaimed, but a lot of money was raised for CHUF. What a great day.

Golf’s Royal Clubs – Book Launch

With Peter Dawson, the Chief Executive of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, it was a thrill to launch my new book on the golf clubs that have been granted the royal title by the British Royal Family. It took place on 14 February at the Soundings Theatre in Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum in Wellington. Now I look forward to the book being available for release.

More Royal Golf Courses

I have been busy visiting many royal golf course this last month from Calcutta to Colwood and Canberra to Cromer. I had not been to East Anglia before and really enjoyed my visit to the four royal courses in that neck of the woods. Equally, my return to Aberdeenshire and Banffshire in Scotland was very rewarding with good weather and very interesting golf clubs. Thanks to all those who help me as our paths cross. Regards, Scott

Royal Courses

There are some fantastic “Royal” golf clubs in the world. I am enjoying learning more about them as we research them for the book. Just back from visits to Royal Malta, Royal Troon, and Royal Liverpool (Hoylake). Next stop Ireland and a visit to Royal Dublin before heading north to Royal Country Down, Belfast and Portrush. Thanks to all those I am meeting along the way – you are making the journey all the more enjoyable.

Close House Charity Day

Close House just had its 2nd annual CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund) charity day and great fund was had by all. Over £100,000 was raised and celebrities playing included Lee Westwood, Sandy Lyle, Alan Shearer, And & Dec, Tony McCoy and many more.

Challenges to the Golf Industry

The golf industry faces five challenges;

  • Slow growth in numbers of people playing the game
  • Economic – costs of maintenance and golf course budgeting issues
  • Environmental – habitats, ecological and sustainability
  • Playing surface – Improving and maintaining quality
  • Time to play golf – complaint = it takes too long to play.

A conscious and mindful approach to golf course design can help solve of minimise the impact of these challenges on the game.