A Highland Perthshire golf club has boosted its membership over the last two years.
And now members of Pitlochry Golf Club are celebrating winning a major accolade at the fifth annual Scottish Golf Tourism Awards, held at the Fairmont St Andrews. Five years after fears were raised for the future of the club, which dates back to 1909, it has been hailed as the country’s “Best Course Under £50.”
Last year, local company R W Bell Electrical took over the reins at the scenic club. “It is fantastic for the golf club. It shows we are doing something right,” said company managing director and former Perth and Kinross county player Steve Carruthers, whose ties to the golf club stretch back 45 years. We have great facilities but Pitlochry is all about the course. It is our biggest asset."
“We have always been considered a bit of a hidden gem. Hopefully, awards like this will mean less of the 'hidden!'
"A few years ago an American golf writer said we were the best golf course under 6,000 yards in length in the world. Wow! That was quite an accolade."
"Around 65% of our income is reliant on visitors so awards like this are a huge plus in terms of upping our profile. Without visitors there would be no golf course."
“Our membership has also been growing, to around the 360 mark, which is very positive. Not so long ago the possibility was that there would be a couple of greenkeepers cutting grass, an honesty box and maybe even just the nine holes. I got involved in 2010, first with Pitlochry Golf Ltd and then RW Bell when we took over a year past January. It means a lot to me. It is in my DNA."
“As a business we are one of the biggest in the area and we want the community to have good assets. Now the facilities include a great nine holes at Blair Atholl, a fabulous practice set-up and a popular wee six-hole course, with the clubhouse and pro shop open year round for our members and visitors."
“It has been a great team effort, with Niall McGill of Noah’s Ark Golf Centre and pro Wallace Booth, together with our manager Mike Winton, making an immediate impact in enhancing the experience."
“But I have no doubt the single biggest factor in this Perthshire success story was appointing Stuart Griffiths as course manager. He has a wealth of experience, having spent five years at an Open venue, Carnoustie, with Blair Atholl, Tain, Letham Grange and Hankley Common in Surrey also featuring on an impressive CV.”