Ex Open champ joins forces with Team Niblick to ‘transform’ East Lothian venue
RYDER CUP star Paul Lawrie has agreed to help “transform” one of Scotland’s best-loved golf courses in an attempt to make it one of the leading tests in British golf.
Whitekirk Golf & Country Club, situated in the heart of East Lothian, has appointed Lawrie, currently Scotland’s highest-ranked golfer, to redesign their golf course in collaboration with Graeme Webster of Team Niblick, who is one of European golf’s most respected golf course architects.
Since opening in 1995, the 18-hole course at Whitekirk has hosted the PGA MasterCard Tour from 1998-2001 and the PGA Europro Tour 2002-2006, and it is hoped more high-profile events will be held at the course after its transformation.
David Brodie, Whitekirk’s general manager, said the course had recently been taken over and that the work by Lawrie and Webster was part of a vision to make it one of the leading lights of British golf.
“Whitekirk is embarking on an exciting journey that will transform it into one of the leading golf destinations in East Lothian, Scotland, and the United Kingdom,” said Brodie.
“The first phase is to redesign the course and with Paul Lawrie’s vision along with Graeme Webster of Team Niblick’s vast experience, the perfect partnership is in place to achieve that vision.”
Prestige Hotel management managing director Richard Spanner added: “We are delighted that we have secured the services of both Paul Lawrie and Graeme Webster, and are very excited to have them on board as part of Whitekirk.”
Team Niblick, a specialist golf course design and build firm based in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, has been involved in the creation of a number of Aberdeenshire courses, including Meldrum House and Inchmarlo.
Lawrie, left, said he would use his experience of playing worldwide to improve the layout. “I have been fortunate enough in my career to visit and play the best courses all over the world,” said Lawrie. “Through these experiences I have gained a vast knowledge of what golfers want in a championship course.”
Webster aded: “It is my role to work with Paul to take his experiences and use them to develop Whitekirk into a challenging course that golfers will be excited to play.”
Meanwhile, Lawrie recently took the Ryder Cup to a match at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie stadium and was given the honour of parading the trophy round the pitch. “I went round the pitch at half time with the Ryder Cup which was good fun,” Lawrie wrote on his blog. “I got a fantastic reception from all sections of the ground.”