• The 1999 Open champion took over three years ago
• Michael MacDougall: "They’re forever investing money"
Paul Lawrie has revealed his delight after the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre was named a five-star Visit Scotland activity centre.
The centre, on the outskirts of Lawrie’s hometown of Aberdeen, has been transformed since the 1999 Open winner, his wife Marian and fellow directors took the reins three years ago, with it also being announced recently that the centre’s par-3 course will host the Scottish Par-3 Championship next month.
And the recognition, from Scotland’s National Tourism Organisation, is testament to the significant investment that’s been put in behind the scenes.
Paul Lawrie said: "Marian and I and our fellow directors are delighted to have received this accolade from Visit Scotland. It acknowledges the ongoing investment in the facilities at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre and is a credit to all of the staff who have worked hard to achieve high standards of service. We want every customer coming through our doors at the centre to have the best possible experience."
He also tweeted:
And the Paul Lawrie Foundation’s Michael MacDougall, who is based at the state-of-the-art centre by the River Dee, added: “Since taking over, they’ve invested in the facilities and revamped what it offers on a playing perspective but they’ve also increased the floor space in the shop and the services in terms of custom fitting and the number of PGA professional coaches on site.
“A physiotherapist has also been added too who works in conjunction with the coaches in relation to swing mechanics. So they’ve invested in the building itself, the golf course, the state-of-the-art short game area – which is not unique but it’s definitely one of the top facilities of its kind in Scotland – the driving range bays themselves and basically all those things that are essential to a good golfing facility.
"They’re forever investing money there to make the facility the best it possibly can be" - Michael MacDougall
“Also, since the turn of the year, they took over the coffee shop, which is available for anybody to use, so there are a lot of non-golfers who come in to enjoy the surroundings. They’re forever investing money there to make the facility the best it possibly can be.”
The announcement of the Scottish Par-3 Championship, which will include around 40 professionals and amateurs and take place at the centre’s par-3 course, comes after Lawrie’s enjoyment of playing in the English equivalent at Nailcote Hall.
It is hoped the free-to-view tournament is just another way of enticing people to the facility after the success of the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Challenge over the past couple of years, which has seen former Ryder Cup captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul McGinley battle it out with Lawrie on the course, which MacDougall believes is better than Nailcote.
“It’s a really good golf course and a nice wee test,” he said. “There’s lots of variety from around 90-95 yards to over 200 yards so guys are using anything from pitching wedge to, on some days, a 3-wood.
“Our golf course is probably superior to the par-3 course at Nailcote. It’s great fun there but it’s quite small and finicky and a lot of the time it’s just a pitching or gap wedge down for these guys, but here it’s completely different.
“So he’s excited about the par-3 and just getting more people here to see the facility. It’ll be a free-to-view event, just as the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Challenge match is, and the idea is for people to see what it has to offer.
Paul Lawrie will be playing in the event himself, which takes place from June 13-14, but has more immediate tournaments in mind as he plays in the Spanish Open this week before competing in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Paul Lawrie Golf Centre :: Your thoughts
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