Kingsbarns Golf Links has been named the provider of Scotland’s Best Golf Experience for the fourth time in the last five years.
The acclaimed Fife facility took the top prize at the 2018 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards – the climax to the third annual Scottish Golf Tourism Week – staged at the Fairmont St Andrews resort.
The glittering event, hosted by renowned broadcaster Dougie Donnelly, was staged by PSP Media Group and supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise.
Kingsbarns Golf Links took the top honour on the night, as well as the Best Customer Service award, to the delight of chief executive Alan Hogg.
“I’m absolutely delighted for everyone at Kingsbarns, including Art Dunkley, our owner,” he said. “He always just tells us to do what we need to do to make the customer happy and we’re obviously doing that well. The Scottish golfer is not always an easy customer to please, so I’m exceptionally proud to know that this comes from the votes of Scottish golfers.
“I lead from the back. I send my guys out there and let them do their thing and I just do my thing at the back and it works. I always liked a quote from Jacky Montgomery at Dunbar who once told me that every day is a secret shopper day at Dunbar. I always loved that. We’ve definitely taken part of that on at Kingsbarns and it’s our mantra. “I said to Gary Silcock last year after Gleneagles took our crown that I’d spend all year tying to get it back and here we are.”
Scottish Golf Tourism Week, which attracted more than 90 leading buyers from across the world to experience Scotland’s diverse golf product, comes as the industry pursues ambitions to grow the value of the golf tourism industry in Scotland from £286m in 2016 to £300m by 2020.
Tom Lovering, director of Scottish Golf Tourism Week, said: “Enormous congratulations to Kingsbarns Golf Links, which has once again demonstrated its ability to deliver a consistently exceptional golf experience and has taken our top award for the fourth time.
“All of the winners tonight are highly worthy of their accolades. I would also like to extend my thanks to all the businesses and tour operators who have come together from across the world to make Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2018 such a resounding success. SGTW is now firmly established as Scotland’s key golf tourism legacy event, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s golf product to a global audience and creating lasting benefits for Scotland’s economy as a result.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “I’m delighted to see award winners from right across the country, which goes to underline how outstanding the outstanding strength in depth of the Scottish golf tourism product.
“All of the award winners deserve huge congratulations on their success, as do all of the businesses who have taken part in Scottish Golf Tourism Week in 2018.”
Scottish Golf Tourism Awards - In Full
Best Hotel (Under 20 rooms)
The Old Loans Inn
Best Hotel (21-50 rooms)
Murrayshall Country House Hotel
Best Hotel (Over 50 rooms)
Fairmont St Andrews
Best Customer Service
Kingsbarns Golf Links
Best Pro Shop
St Andrews Links, Castle Course
Value for Money (Under £50)
Fortrose and Rosemarkie
Value for Money (£50-£100)
The Duke’s, St Andrews
Value for Money (Over £100)
Trump International Golf Links
Best Course (Under £50)
Best Course (£50-£100)
Balcomie Links, Crail
Best Course (Over £100)
Championship Course, Carnoustie Golf Links
Best Experience winner
Kingsbarns Golf Links
Special Recognition Award
Pat Sawers, Carnoustie Golf Links