For the third year in a row, Kingsbarns Golf Links, near St Andrews, has been named as the winner of the coveted ‘Scotland’s Best Golf Experience accolade’, writes Michael McEwan.
The Fife golf facility scooped the top honour at the 2016 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards in recognition of the ‘across the board’ excellence it demonstrates and provides to visiting golfers.
The award was one of 15 prizes handed out during a gala dinner at the Fairmont St Andrews Resort, which brought the curtain down on the inaugural Scottish Golf Tourism Week.
All of the awards were chosen by the public, with more than 33,000 votes cast by the time polling closed at the end of August.
Kingsbarns held off stiff competition from Castle Stuart Golf Links, near Inverness, Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Aberdeenshire, and The Carrick on Loch Lomond to complete a hat-trick of victories, much to the delight of its chief executive Alan Hogg.
“This is totally unexpected,” he said. “We genuinely didn’t think we would win for a third year in a row but we are absolutely delighted to have done so and we’re extremely grateful to everybody who voted for us.
“After winning for a second time last year, the team and I locked ourselves in a room at Archerfield for two days to really examine what it is that makes people vote for us. We looked at every aspect of what we do, from the moment our customers arrive to the moment they leave, to try and identify areas where we can improve. Giving our visitors the best day possible is at the heart of what we do and so we are thrilled to win this once again.”
Elsewhere, a ‘Special Recognition Award’ was also presented to Alasdair Good, the head professional at Gullane Golf Club, for his services to the Scottish golf tourism industry, in particular through his Wee Wonders junior golf event and the US Kids Golf Championship. European Tour stars Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher and Nick Dougherty, as well as Eddie Pepperell and Tommy Fleetwood, were amongst those to pay tribute to him.