Saturday, 13 November 2010

Golf industry reveals Gold Standard winners

This year’s top golf honours have been announced at the glittering Golf Tourism Scotland’s Gold Standard Awards held at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick. The sell-out event has become the golf industry’s annual jamboree during which the very best of Scottish golf tourism is celebrated.

This year’s exciting evening culminated in Angus Watson, a leisure sales executive at the Fairmont in St Andrews, being named Young Industry Person of the Year, which carried with it an international learning journey. Earlier, Davy Gilchrist of Kingsbarns Golf Links picked up the CaddieMaster of the Year award for the second successive year.

One of the biggest winners on the night was Castle Stuart Golf Links which beat off competition from Kingsbarns and the Old Course in St Andrews to clinch the Golf Course of the Year award. In addition, Mark Parsinen, managing partner at the Highland resort, was honoured with the acclaimed Special Achievement Award.

Following a memorable Open Championship at the Home of Golf, St Andrews also had a successful night with no less than five winners hailing from the Auld Grey Toon, and two others from its outskirts. But as the chairman of GTS pointed out, this year’s winners came from across Scotland.

“It’s been a fantastic year for golf tourism throughout Scotland,” said Nick Hunter. “Scotland has hosted a number of high-profile tour events which have showcased exactly why playing golf here is so special. And despite tough times, our members have upped their game so that once again our facilities have improved and our standards of service have been fine-tuned. The Gold Standard Awards recognise the very best exponents of this process, but I think the golf industry generally should be congratulated for a job well done.”

On hand to meet the winners was two-time major winner Sandy Lyle, who highlighted the importance of the GTS awards. “Playing golf in Scotland is very special indeed,” he said. “And often what makes it special, apart from the terrific courses, are the people who arrange your trip, transport you between venues or meet you at the hotels. In my view, the GTS Gold Standard Awards celebrate the efforts of these individuals who are the golf tourism industry in Scotland.”

In all, 11 awards were handed out on the night, three of which were sponsored by some of the country’s leading businesses. Joining the awards’ host resort, the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick, was Arnold Clark Car and Van Rental, Europe’s largest independently owned, family run motor dealer, and the Fairmont St Andrews, which hosted the G20 Summit in November 2009.

The award recipients came from every sector of the golf tourism industry. And the winners are…

GOLF COURSE OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any golf course in Scotland that offers tee-times to visitors. And the winner is:
  • Castle Stuart Golf Links
GOLF SECRETARIAT OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any golf club/course whose administration provides a service to visitors and/or the travel trade. And the winner is:
  • Crail Golfing Society
CADDIEMASTER OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any caddiemaster providing a service to visitors and/or the travel trade. And the winner is:
  • Davy Gilchrist, Kingsbarns Golf Links
HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Small hotel/guest house category). Nominations for this category were open to accommodation providers with 20 or fewer bedrooms that provide services to golf visitors. And the winner is:
  • Ugadale Cottages, Machrihanish
HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Country house hotel category). Nominations for this category were open to hotels and exclusive-use properties operating in rural areas that provide services to golf visitors. And the winner is:
  • Rufflets Country House Hotel, St Andrews
HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Large hotel category). Nominations for this category were open to hotels with more than 20 bedrooms which provide services to golf visitors. And the winner is:
HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Resort hotel category). Nominations for this category were open to resort hotels with golf course(s) attached. And the winner is:
  • Fairmont St Andrews
GOLF TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any tour operator bringing golfers to Scotland. And the winner is:
  • Links Golf St Andrews
TRANSPORT OPERATOR OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any business providing transport services in Scotland including rail, road, air and sea. And the winner is:
  • St Andrews Executive Travel
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. And the winner is:
  • Mark Parsinen, Castle Stuart Golf Links
YOUNG INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR. And the winner is:
  • Angus Watson, Fairmont St Andrews
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