Dundonald Links has been sold to new owners in a multi-million pound deal.
The Ayrshire course, scene of Rafa Cabrera Bello’s dramatic Scottish Open victory in 2017, has been acquired by Darwin Leisure from Loch Lomond Golf Club in a deal worth £4.5m.
In a phone call to bunkered.co.uk this lunchtime, Loch Lomond Golf Club general manager Bill Donald confirmed the news that we exclusively broke this morning.
"This is a great story for all concerned," said Donald. "Darwin have some fantastic plans for Dundonald Links which will really take it to the next level, whilst Loch Lomond continues to thrive. Our members will retain full playing rights on Dundonald Links, too, so it really is a win-win for everybody."
bunkered.co.uk understands that Darwin Leisure intends to invest heavily in its new acquisition, which is expected to include a new, much mooted, permanent clubhouse and, potentially, new homes and lodges elsewhere on the property.
Meanwhile, Loch Lomond Golf Club is undertaking a £12m investment of its own, which will include sand-capping the former Scottish Open host course and building new on-site lodges.
"Things are extremely healthy for us at the moment," said Donald, who added that the club currently has a full membership and a waiting list. "Our joining fee has increased from £40,000 to £125,000 so we are in a great place.
"Whilst it was difficult to let Dundonald Links go, we all believe that this is in everybody's best interests and can only lead to bigger and better things for all parties. It truly is good news."
Last October, it was revealed that Dundonald Links was seeking an investment partner to “acquire a substantial interest” in it in order to help fund new development.
Originally known as Southern Gailes, the course was turned over to the military during World War Two and lay dormant until it was acquired by Loch Lomond Golf Club in 2003 and redesigned by acclaimed American golf course architect Kyle Phillips.