Eric Dey Captain of Aberdour GC

Eric Dey from Aberdour Golf Club was delighted with the ease of transition into his captaincy after their  course design assessment  was completed saying “It’s great to have the foundation in place so not a lot of time is wasted getting the new Club council all on the same page. Our 10 year development plan will help guide the Club’s future.”


Mark Laing Head Greenkeeper Aberdour GC

Aberdour’s head greenkeeper Mark Laing was surprised at the amount of useful information in the development plan creating immediate and simple course improvements.  “We have cleared a lot of over hanging trees and shrubs reintroducing lines of play, improving strategy that had gradually slipped away.” Mark continued by saying “it’s good for everyone involved to have a plan to improve the golf course.” 


Tom Cummings, Secretary,  Kirkintilloch GC

“At Kirkintilloch Golf Club, we determined that, in line with a modernisation of our management practices, we should always seek the guidance of professional expertise before finalising our strategic plans for development and improvement to our facilities. This has proven to be particularly beneficial to the development of our golf course. Four years ago we enlisted the services of an accredited golf course architect to provide a full hole by hole assessment of our course along with a full agronomy report. Since then, we have gradually developed the course in line with the recommendations made and have seen our course steadily improve in both quality and character attracting widespread praise from both members and visitors. At a time when many golf clubs are struggling to attract members, we see this as a key factor in the future wellbeing of our club.”

Bernard Flockhart ex Baberton Club Manager  and current committee member of Harburn GC

There are major benefits in using a professional GCA, notably :-

  • Design advice given incorporates the course’s original architect’s design policy; considers current environmental issues (especially dealing with large increase in rainfall); maintenance friendly; costing and options available for carrying out changes; monitoring and managing  of progress of work.
  • Reduces the risk of problems related to non-qualified Council or Greens staff designing, planning and managing major course projects.
  • Enables club to incorporate accurate costings on course projects into their overall financial budgets

My own experience has been with two clubs and can report on following :-

Club 1 – Had rebuilt five greens over a five year period but had failed to achieve improvements in their general year round playability. Two had been reconstructed by greens staff and three by an outside contractor based on agronomy advice on specifications given by STRI. There was no professional supervision to ensure the correct material and construction processes were carried out and no comeback on the outside contractor since they went into liquidation soon after the work was completed. 

I was involved in a subsequent major project involving the re-design and re-construction of 15 of the greens. We used an architect is a member of the Scottish Association of Golf Course Architects to design and manage the construction and finishing work. The work, done in three phases,  was completed within budget and the quality of the work was recognised by the SGU who have used the project as an example of best practice in course construction on their website.

Club 2 – Carried out work on redesigning holes to utilise a piece of ground purchased adjacent to the course. The design was carried out by a non-qualified person and not only was the end result unsatisfactory, but the costs were £90k versus an initial projection given to members of £30 to £45k. This increased cost had a serious effect on the club’s financial position and resulted in a lack of investment in equipment over a five year period.

Over the past few years when the club still had financial constraints, by using a qualified GCA, it has still been able to carry out regular small course improvements. The architect has been able to manage this work within the financial capabilities and club staff to carry out the work.


Stephen Carruthers – Director of Pitlochry Golf Ltd

“Having employed a Golf Course Architect for our new Range and Short Game Area I’d have no hesitation in recommending his services to other golf clubs. As amateurs we all have an idea what we are looking for but the GCA is the man that pulls these ideas together into an achievable project.  The expertise they bring in construction, project management and agronomy is invaluable to delivering a successful facility.”


George Cuthill –Club Manager,  Lanark GC

“The golf course is our most important asset and therefore it is crucial to maintaining the high standard of our course that we get advice from a professional golf course architect when planning changes to the course design. Our experience bears this out with the key upgrades that have taken place at Lanark GC in the past 5 years. We would always recommend professional advice for such changes. “