From despair to hope - how Machrihanish Golf Club is bouncing back

New Machrihanish Clubhouse 1

Just seven months after losing its clubhouse to a fire, Machrihanish Golf Club has revealed plans are in place for a new, modern replacement.

Club captain Willie Ross told bunkered.co.uk that members could even be enjoying the new building by the end of next year.

The club, founded in 1876, was devastated after a December inferno razed its clubhouse to the ground.

However, the future is now looking bright, with construction on a new property set to begin in September this year after members gave the go-ahead to the final designs.

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The new building will have an indoor golf simulator, plus an upstairs function room and restaurant that will allow the club to cater for events such as weddings.

Machrihanish Clubhouse Fire

It will also feature ladies changing facilities in the main building for the first time in the club’s history, which Ross described as being “an important step” in the right direction.

“I have been a member of Machrihanish for nearly 40 years,” he said. “On the day of the fire, our whole world changed.

“It’s very sad what happened but we all have very happy memories of our time in the old clubhouse.

“The new facilities will put us in a much stronger place for the future.” 

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Machrihanish has received huge support from its members, local businesses and the community since the fire, including the club next door.

Machrihanish Dunes has allowed Machrihanish members to use its facilities, including its hotel and car park, until a new clubhouse is built.

“The help from our local community and other golf clubs who have been through the same scenario has been huge but the Dunes course has really been outstanding,” added Ross. “On the night of the fire, fireman were fed and watered all night and their generosity has been fantastic.”

New Machrihanish Clubhouse 2

In the aftermath of the fire, only one week before Christmas, it emerged that the club steward Iain McLean lived above the clubhouse with his family and as a result, the family lost their home.

Almost immediately, a JustGiving page was set up to raise money for them.

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“In the first two days, the page raised £20,000, which all went to Iain, because we lost a clubhouse but he lost his home that night,” said Ross. “That sums up the community here that we gathered together to help, especially with the fire happening a week before Christmas.

“The best thing about the incident was that nobody was hurt.”

Despite the turmoil of the last seven months, Ross believes that the future is bright for Machrihanish.

“I truly do think we are in a great place to bounce back. It has brought the community together.”

• Artist's impressions courtesy of www.facebook.com/Machrihanish-Golf-Club-1486929048205429/

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