gWest owner breaks silence on Scotland's "ghost course"

Gwest 1 4Ef9F3D60E48F60Baa5813F356Ceb776

A member of the family that owns the gWest International Resort next door to Gleneagles has pledged that the development and its long-completed golf course will be finished properly one day – but only when they decide the time is right

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s “The Patch” programme, Mohsin Al-Tajir explained how the economic downturn had impacted upon plans for the luxury resort, first unveiled in 2007.

An ultra-exclusive, private community in the heart of Perthshire, close to the Highland Spring water business owned by the family, the estate was originally intended to occupy more than 620 acres of the countryside, and extend 2.3 miles from east to west.

• gWest - The great enigma of Scottish golf

• DeChambeau branded "eccentric baby"

• Titleist chief hits back at distance report 

The grand centerpiece of it, an 18-hole championship golf course – built for the use and pleasure of the estate’s property owners and their guests, and designed by Scottish course architect David McLay-Kidd – was completed in 2009.

An elaborate clubhouse, built in the style of Mereworth Castle, a Grade I listed Palladian country house in Kent, designed by 18th century Scottish architect Colen Campbell and also owned by the Al-Tajir family, was finished in 2012.

However, further development has stalled as a result of political and economic instability in the UK over the last decade or so: the global economic downturn, the Scottish independence referendum, the EU referendum and renewed calls for a second vote on Scotland becoming an independent country.

Speaking to the Radio 4 show, Mohsin Al-Tajir revealed that the continued uncertainty was putting the family off investing further in gWest.

“When the economic picks up in Scotland and we can see what’s happening in the future, we’ll develop it properly,” he said. “At the moment, we’re sitting [still]. Brexit’s come along. Scotland’s screaming for independence. 

• Glasgow golf group hits out at city council

• Reed deflects latest ‘cheating’ comments

"You want to invest [but] the next phase of gWest is another fifty, sixty maybe one hundred million pounds and, as a family, we’re not willing to put that sort of money in if we don’t know what the future is.

“If Scotland got independence tomorrow and they decided to turn it into a tax haven like Monaco, we’d be the first there to put the money. In fact, we’d put in three or four courses in and build another two hotels. 

“But the way things are today, where it looks like taxation is going to go up and the local councils and local villages are going to control everything around them, maybe it’s not the place I need to put my money. Maybe there are better places to put it.”    

• Plans rejected for new Scottish courses

• Golf fan turns BATHROOM into Masters shrine

Al-Tajir added that he has played the David McLay-Kidd designed course twenty or thirty times.

Asked for his verdict, he said: “It’s different, in truth, as a modern course. Maybe a few tweaks [are needed]. Don’t forget, the guy who designed the St Andrews Castle Course did it. He’s a respected designer and I’m a bad golfer.” With a laugh, he added: “Anything that’s hard, I don’t like.”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PROGRAMME

Main image courtesy of Mark Alexander

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
HIT IT SOLID OFF SLOPING LIES | GOLF EXPLAINED
Golf Lessons
play button
THE MOST DIFFICULT LIES IN GOLF | GOLF EXPLAINED
Golf Lessons
play button
AM I A GOOD ENOUGH GOLFER TO USE A SET OF BLADES???
blades
play button
PICKING OUR FAVOURITE UTILITY IRON - Callaway X Forged UT vs TaylorMade SIM UDI vs Titleist U•500
Utility Irons
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Rory McIlroy fires back at former Open champ's criticism
Win a prize a day with the bunkered Advent Calendar!
NEW! THE BUNKERED GOLF PODCAST
Emily Pedersen rewrites Ladies European Tour record books
Popular English course announces permanent closure

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Shift your weight to the left side
Callaway
play button
How to control your distances
Watch
play button
The correct grip pressure
Watch
play button
Keep rotating through the ball
Watch
See all videos right arrow