EXCLUSIVE

Glasgow Golf Club captain describes "absolute devastation" over fire

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The captain of Glasgow Golf Club has told bunkered.co.uk of his “absolute devastation” over a fire that has destroyed the majority of the Bearsden club’s Grade B-Listed clubhouse.

Over 70 firefighters worked through the night to try to control a blaze that has ripped through the Georgian neoclassical building, destroying almost 75% of it.

The alarm was first raised around 9.20pm on Thursday and, as of 11.30am on Friday, three small fires were still burning.

The fire started in the ground floor kitchen area of the clubhouse.

The Killermont course is closed until further notice, with efforts currently in place to establish a temporary base for the club at Gailes Links, the course it owns near Irvine, in Ayrshire.

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Club captain David Clifton told bunkered.co.uk: “The overriding feeling just now is one of absolute devastation. The clubhouse is a wonderful, old building with some priceless artefacts.”

One of those items is one of six original ‘Calamity Jane’ putters as used by the great Bobby Jones. That club was gifted to the late bunkered columnist Arthur Montford, who in turn donated it to the club, where he was a long-standing member. It is unclear whether or not it survived the blaze.

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“We won’t be able to determine the full extent of the damage until we get access to the building, and that probably won’t be for at least 24 hours,” added Clifton. “It is a terrible situation but we will come back from this.

"I have to say that the emergency services have been absolutely superb. I can't praise them highly enough."

General manager Chris Spencer added that other clubs had contacted him this morning to offer their assistance as news of the fire broke.

"We’ve had a number of phone calls and emails from other golf clubs in Scotland offering help and support which has been very greatly appreciated," he told bunkered.co.uk.

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"We’ve got contingency plans in place. Obviously our server is gone but we’ve got cloud back-up so we’ve spent the morning, the senior management team, putting plans in place to get communications and IT back up and running. That’s going to take a couple of days to get finalised and we hope that by Monday we’ll be able to communicate really well with all of our members.

"As for the clubhouse, it might be a couple of years before we’re back into that properly once all the work is done. Again, we’ve got plans in place for what facilities we’re going to create for the members in the short-term but, at the moment, we’re still in a state of shock and doing our best to pull things together."

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Glasgow Golf Club is the ninth oldest club in the world and currently has a total membership of over 1,100.

This is the second high-profile fire to devastate a historic building linked to golf in Scotland in the last ninth months, following the blaze at Cameron House, on the banks of Loch Lomond, shortly before Christmas last year.

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