Dumbarnie Links Remains Optimistic Ahead 16th May Opening

Dumbarnie Links, and Scotland’s newest golf course, remains optimistic of opening for play in exactly a month’s time.

Dumbarnie Links was designed by Clive Clark, a member of the 1973 GB & I Ryder Cup team, and is laid out on the Firth of Forth shoreline near Upper Largo and less than 20-miles from St. Andrews in Fife.

The course is planning to officially open on 16th May and with the club’s website sporting a countdown clock in days, hours, minutes and seconds though any opening will depend on lifting the present golf ‘lock-down’ across the UK.

David Scott – First CEO at Dumbarnie Links

David Scott is General Manager at Dumbarnie Links and he’s no stranger to Scottish golf, and in particular the Home of Golf region.

Scott was the inaugural Director of Golf at Kingsbarns Links when it opened in July, 2000 and after eight-and-a-half years he was flown to Wisconsin to be interviewed by Herb Kohler, owner of Whistling Straits and venue for this year’s Ryder Cup along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Scott returned home successful in being handed the role of  General Manager of the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa in St. Andrews.  Five years into the role he was promoted to Director of Operations for the resort and running the hotel given there was no GM for 2.5 years.

Overall, it was just under 12 proud years working under the Kohler umbrella.

Scott is a former Scotland PGA Captain and two years ago was afforded ‘Master Professional’ status of the Scottish PGA.

And now as the first General Manager at Dumbarnie Links he’s spoken on what the new club faces.

“We were very excited about opening on May 16th and despite the uncertainty that’s still our ‘Plan A’, ” said in an exclusive for www.golfbytourmiss.com and also www.dailyrecord.co.uk 

“It revolves around what the U.K. Government advise. I would hope that they can see that playing golf is absolutely a game that can be played, keeping a safe distance away from playing partners.

Dumbarnie Links …. The dawn of a new golfing gem in Scotland (Photo – Dumbarnie Links)

“The positive well-being that will be created from getting out in the fresh air is priceless.  If everyone sticks by the new rules that were in place; don’t touch the flagstick; get the greenkeepers to put the hole cup upside down, so the ball when falling into the hole, only drops down an inch or so, then it’s a winner.”

Dumbarnie already seems a big hit long before opening with many, including legendary U.S. golf writer George Pepper, who procliamed:  “There’s no doubt Dumbarnie will soon come to stand along with Kingsbarns Links as the two courses (after the Old) that every serious St. Andrews pilgrim will want to play.”

And waiting to greet an already jam-packed bookings sheet is Scott and his team at Dumbarnie Links.

“We have 13 greens staff on our team, and five golf, clubhouse and office management in place, and we anticipate increasing our team to around 40 in high season,” he said.

Dumbarnie Golf Links (Photo – Dumbarnie Links)

“It is vital in the current lock down we keep on the greens team on as it is vital we keep working on the course and that includes over the week, staggering the teams arrival and departure so no cross-contamination will occur as we take COVID-19 most seriously.  Myself and the management team are all working from their homes.”

And having been associated with golf more directly over the past 20-years, Scott is fully aware of the impact of closing down golf courses has impacted on St. Andrews and region.

“Looking back exactly 12 months ago, there was a real sense of optimism in the air,” he said.

Dumbarnie Links (Photo – Dumbarnie Links)

“The golf shops would be signing in deliveries of new stock every day.  Hotels and Guest Houses would be getting big stocks of toiletries and new linens for the season; New Menus printed off and new staff interviewed and inducted for the season.

“Right now, and like everywhere all deliveries are on hold, as is the hiring of any new staff.  I think everyone is battening down the hatches and trying not to spend unless absolutely necessary.”

However, while Scotland’s newest golf course is just a month away from opening, Scott fears many others across the county will not re-open and a question put to him by www.golfbytourmiss.com and Record Sport .

“With a heavy heart, I’m afraid the answer must be yes,” said Scott.

“As we all know, several courses have closed over the last 12 months and a few more will very likely close due to the impact of COVID-19.

“With the annual subscriptions now due at most clubs, getting the fees in when people are worried about their jobs and the next 6 months, it’s a huge worry.

“I’m sure there will be many SKYPE calls going on between Club Captains and Committees to figure a way forward though on a positive note the lending rates being reduced will hopefully make a significant difference to many.

“The sooner we can get out on the green grass, the better for the health of our clubs and Golf Professionals, and our own personal health and well-being.”


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