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Issues of concern in Scotland - including the latest golf tourism initiative
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Golfing tourism on brink of disaster   more

Gordon Berry, The Courier, 4 July 2008

The main industry body for Scottish golf is to hold a major workshop at Troon next month to discuss problems facing what could be an industry “on the brink of disaster.”

Is Scottish golf getting a bit buggy?   more

Is the game’s traditional home losing its primacy as players reject high prices and dreary weather?

Ian Fraser, Camagonline, May 2008

It may be the home of golf, but factors such as cost, weather and old-fashioned attitudes are leading some to turn to warmer climes such as Dubai, South Africa and even China. Still, major investment is under way to create more top quality golf resorts in Scotland

Trump chips in with links plan   more

Mark Macaskill, Sunday Times, 30 October 2005

Donald Trump, the American property tycoon, is planning to create a luxury links golf development in Scotland.

A Scalping at St Andrews   more

Playing the Old Course is one of the greatest thrills in golf. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be outrageously expensive. How Expensive? Try $1,800 a round.

Peter Finch and Dean Knuth, Golf Digest Magazine, June 2005

You and your golf buddies have always dreamed of visiting St. Andrews to play the Old Course, and now, inspired by this year's British Open, you're finally going to do it. So you call up a tour operator and... Hold every thing!

Trump tees up Scottish addition to golf empire   more

Mark MacAskill, The Sunday Times, 17 April 2005

Donald Trump, the American property tycoon, is in the market for an exclusive golf club in Scotland.

Are golfers turning their backs on Scotland's clubs?   more

Sharon Ward, The Scotsman, 16 November 2004

It is 2:30pm on a Saturday afternoon and the bar at the Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club is silent. A decade ago, this historic club in Scotland’s capital, which boasts James Braid and Tommy Armour as former club champions, would have been a cacophony of noise, filled with members returning from their morning medal rounds.

The top 10 overrated things in sport - No 3 - St Andrews   more

Alasdair Reid, The Sunday Times, 29 February 2004

The home of golf? No, just the site of a sandstone clubhouse where golf’s rules are made.

Go-slow golfers will face rough justice   more

Jeremy Watson, Scotland on Sunday, 4 January 2004

They agonise over every shot, crouching on the green as they plan the putt that could win them that precious round of golf.

Cut-price golf is par for the course as new clubs proliferate   more

John Innes, The Scotsman, 22 December 2003

Scotland's planners have given the green light to more than 80 new golf clubs and courses in the last decade - forcing many existing clubs to introduce high street sales tactics in order to survive.

Golf course glut drives game into bunker   more

Graham Ogilvy, Scotland on Sunday, 21 December 2003

Picturesque Castle Park Golf Club was described as Stuart Fortune’s "dream business venture" and he worked tirelessly to make the course a success. But the struggling farmer never attracted enough players to the club in Gifford, East Lothian. Two weeks ago the 59-year-old father-of-three took his own life.

Golf: Kingdom of strife   more

Alasdair Reid, The Sunday Times, 21 December 2003

St Andrews is turning into a golfing Disneyland say angry locals who claim a new course will be an ugly blot on the landscape.

'A legitimate and potent force' for Scottish tourism   more

University of Abertay, Press Release, 5 November 2003

Sport could become the biggest driver for tourism growth in the coming years and decades – and Scotland is in an ideal position to benefit.

Golf clubs face crisis from lack of interest   more

Matthew Knowles, The Sunday Times, 10 August 2003

Scotland, the country credited with the birth of golf, is facing a crisis in the game with interest dwindling and income from golf tourism dropping by 30% across the country.

Golf in a bunker   more

Editorial, The Courier, 13 September 2002

A few years ago, golf was heading skywards as the great sport-and-health success story. Amid increasing wealth and leisure, went the idea, there was a big need for more golf courses. Dozens were built in Scotland. Farmers turned fallow fields into fairways faster than King Midas could turn his chattels into gold.

Scottish golf suffers from US no-shows   more

Scottishgolf.com, 19 September 2001

Clubs and courses are facing massive cancellations as Americans decide to stay at home The effects of last week's terrorist atrocity in the United States are now being felt by the UK tourist industry - particularly those involved in golf in Scotland.

Obsession with golf will sink our children   more

Pat Kane, The Sunday Times, 26 August 2001

The toe-curling embarrassment that is "Team McLeish" is unabated. This week, their greatest triumph of statecraft: an £80m bid for a 2009 golf tournament which would put a "club in the hands of every child in Scotland".

Bunkered by Mr Big   more

It's a sport that Scotland gave to the world but the explosion of its corporate version is devastating the landscape.

John Burnside, The Guardian, 28 July 2001

Not long ago, when I first returned to Scotland, I took a leisurely walk along the Fife coast, for old times' sake. This borderline realm of dune slacks and cliffs, of wide sandy beaches and low woods, was the heaven of my childhood, a magical place, populated by wildflowers, birds, sea creatures and a variety of exotic flotsam, washed in on the tide. Because I was brought up in industrial west Fife, a landscape of coal bings and slag, those day-trips to the East Neuk transformed my view of the world; it was here that I first learned the names of plants and insects - creeping willow, cinnabar moth, knotted wrack, lady's bedstraw, viper's bugloss - and it was here that I first came to appreciate the fact that the land around me was beautiful, complex and, to my mind, both then and now, holy. To lose this landscape - I vaguely understood it even then - would be a defining tragedy; what I did not know till much later, in my teacher, Miss Conway's, dispassionate but oddly compelling history classes, was that the history of Scotland has been, for the common people at least, a long and painful catalogue of such losses.

No decisions yet on golf prospects   more

The Courier, 6 March 2001

Golf courses at St Andrews remained closed beneath a thick blanket of melting snow yesterday but it remains to be seen if the world famous Links are to be officially shut down.

Golf to stop due to foot-and-mouth fear   more

The Courier, 3 March 2001

The Scottish Golf Union, who yesterday issued a statement urging “golfers not to play at this present time” because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, still intend to send international squads to Spain and Italy later this month.

A fair way to go   more

Editorial, The Scotsman, 12 February 2001

When the Scottish executive chose to omit Muirfield when backing potential venues for the 2009 Ryder Cup on account of the golf club’s men-only membership policy, that blow on behalf of sexual equality only hit the tip of the iceberg. Sex discrimination remains rife in the game of golf, where women often find themselves treated as second-class citizens, both in the clubhouse and on fairway.

Promoting Golf   more

Letter to Editor, The Scotsman, 4 November 2000

Allan Deeson, Managing Director, Century House Hotels, N. Queensferry

Recent reports greatly understate the scale of the problems for tourism in Scotland, and the Scottish Tourist Board is unrealistic in its objectives. As the proprietor of a country house hotel, which markets golf holidays in the UK and Europe, I am amazed at the attitude of golf clubs.

Over-clubbed   more

Martin Clarke, The Scotsman, 31 October 2000

Some of my best friends are golfers, they really are, but there’s something deeply spooky about them. Not content with spending their days whacking a wee white ball around the countryside with big sticks, they want everyone else to do it too.

Vision!   more

R J Ritchie, Letter to Editor, The Scotsman, 31 October 2000

At last! After a hesitant and stumbling beginning, we now have a vision for Scotland commensurate with the hopes and expectations invested in our parliament. The Scottish Executive has announced (your report, 27 October) that every child under nine in our brave, new devolved nation will have the opportunity to play a round of golf!

Golf lessons for children aged nine 'a gimmick'   more

Nick Britten, Scotland Political Correspondent, The Telegraph, 27 October 2000

The Scottish Executive faced accusations of "governing by gimmick" yesterday after pledging to teach every child how to play golf by the age of nine.

Executive tees up youth golf strategy   more

The Courier, 27 October 2000

Every Scottish child is to be introduced to golf by the age of nine, under plans announced yesterday as part of a bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2009.

Regarding comments about St Andrews   more

Letter to Editor, The Scotsman, 26 October 2000

Alan J R McGregor, General manager, St Andrews Links Trust, St Andrews

While agreeing with Michael Kelly’s point that private golf clubs have the right to keep their courses empty for the members who own them (Opinion, 24 October), I must correct his comments about St Andrews.

Blown off course in the quest for tourists   more

Mean-spirited bureaucrats have condemned golf schemes as ways round the Green Belt

Michael Kelly, Opinion, The Scotsman, 24 October 2000

What lies behind the blame culture that has developed within the embattled Scottish Tourist Board? First, it was the strong pound, then the weather and now Scotland’s 542 private golf clubs come under attack for not joining the board’s golf development strategy.

Development chief accuses clubs of hindering strategy to attract golfing tourists   more

Alison Gray, Consumer Affairs, The Scotsman, 23 October 2000

The woman appointed to develop Scotland’s golf tourism yesterday criticised some clubs for hindering the success of the government’s new strategy.

Tourist board bid fails   more

The Courier, 19 October 2000

The Kingdom of Fife Tourist Board, in partnership with the neighbouring area tourist boards in Perthshire, Dundee and Angus, have failed with bids for financial support through the Scottish Tourist Board’s niche marketing initiative.

Stern warning to tourist board   more

The Courier, 9 October 2000

Enterprise Minister Henry McLeish is to issue a stern warning to Scottish Tourist Board bosses to improve their performance.

MSP calls on industry to improve   more

The Courier, 13 September 2000

Scottish Minister Henry McLeish has called on those involved in the country’s tourism industry to step up their efforts to improve the product.

Club in mouth   more

Extract from Privateaye, The Sunday Herald, 23 July 2000

.... Our Cuban raconteur's powers of improvisation are nothing compared to the sheer gall of Henry McLeish, Scotland's Minister for Lifelong Learning.

Henry is also Minister for Tourism, or leisure, or playing nicely or something like that. To judge from his recent remarks on Scotland’s alleged obsession with golf, Henry is also the Lifelong Minister for talking rubbish.

St Andrews could turn into Costa del Golf   more

Auslan Cramb, The Telegraph, 17 July 2000

The Open returns to St Andrews this week amid claims that the town is becoming part of a bland, over-developed "Costa del Golf".

Visitors charged 1000% rent rise for Open   more

Gillian Harris, The Times, 17 July 2000

St Andrews University has been accused of exploiting golf fans by increasing the price of student accommodation by more than 1,000 per cent during this week's Open Championship.

Wake up, Scotland: this is no theme park   more

Mike Wade, The Scotsman, 12 July 2000

Leaving aside any scepticism of something calling itself an industry but which does not feature a flying shuttle, a lathe or even a clean room, you should be aware by now that "the tourism industry" in Scotland is in crisis.

Plans to promote Home of Golf   more

Steve Scott, The Courier, 12 July 2000

Scotland's failure to exploit her unique advantage as the home of golf is to be consigned to history with the launch of a new tourism strategy centred on golf and led by European No 1 Colin Montgomerie and the Scottish Executive.

Montgomerie tees up drive to attract more golf tourists   more

Katrina Tweedie, The Scotsman, 12 July 2000

Colin Montgomerie yesterday helped launch a government initiative to make golf the saviour of Scotland’s declining tourism industry.

Turf Wars   more

Jim Cusick, The Sunday Herald, 2 July 2000

St Andrews, the hallowed venue for this month's British Open Championship, has become the battle ground for an unholy civil war. The soul of Scottish golf is up for grabs - and everyone wants a slice Publication Date: Jul 2 2000 They badly need a second miracle at St Andrews. The Almighty helped out first time round when he created the Old Course. Now all they need is divine fine tuning and the creator to kick in his first 50-hour day.

Carnoustie golfing investigation - hotel, tee-times, tourism

Part 3 - Hotel's demands likely to be 'more conservative'   more

Chris Ferguson, The Courier, 1 July 2000

Mr John Martin, secretary of Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, agrees a lot of work has still to be done to win back American tour operators to Carnoustie.

Part 2 - Board figures show no loss of visitors   more

Chris Ferguson, The Courier, 30 June 2000

Figures from Angus and Dundee Tourist Board do not show a haemorrhage of visitors away from Carnoustie. Its statistics are based on the number of callers to its tourist office and do not include a breakdown of which are golfers.

Part 1 - A balance between locals and visitors   more

Chris Ferguson, The Courier, 29 June 2000

Last year was a triumphant one for Carnoustie. It welcomed back The Open Championship for the first time in 24 years and the gaze of the world’s television audiences fell on the terrace of its new £6 million golf hotel.

Carnoustie finds itself paying price for hotel's golfing deal   more

James Rougvie, The Scotsman, 19 June 2000

It should have been the best of times but instead it is the worst. Piles of Pringle sweaters, carefully-arranged boxes of golf balls and expensive golfing paraphernalia are gathering dust.

PGA to build £10m centre in Scotland   more

Mike Aitken, The Scotsman, 24 May 2000

Plans to build a 10 million PGA Scottish Golf Centre have been drawn up with a view to completing the new complex in central Scotland before the 2009 Ryder Cup is staged in Britain.

Clubbed to death   more

Golf courses are lush, green swaths of landscape. But protesters claim they are Damaging developments for the landscape. Jim Gilchrist investigates.

The Scotsman, 20 May 2000

"Golf," said Andrew Carnegie, "is an indispensable adjunct to high civilisation." The millionaire philanthropist made the remark when leaving £200,000 for a course at Yale University. A century on, his sentiments may not be shared by the farmers around his former home of Skibo Castle in Sutherland, where this week another millionaire, entrepreneur Peter de Savary, has raised agricultural hackles by proposing to scrap a 374-acre farm on the Skibo Estate and replace it with a golf course.

St Andrews is safe in our hands   more

Douglas Sinclair, Letters, New Statesman, 6 March 2000

I would like to respond to the emotive and inaccurate article written by Alan Taylor ("A religion that's out of control", 21 February). Fife Council has absolutely no intention of turning St Andrews into a "theme park" or permitting "exploitation by developers". There are robust and defensible planning policies and guidelines in place that require detailed assessments of any future golf course developments and these have to be set against national and local planning policies. The council's planning guidelines prevent golf courses from being adjacent to each other and require substantial agricultural and woodland corridors to be retained.

A religion that's out of control   more

St Andrews used to be a charming university town, which had golf as a pleasant diversion. Now developers threaten to turn it into a theme park.

Alan Taylor, New Statesman, 21 February 2000

Few religions have spread quite so rapidly as golf. Though its origins may lie as far back as the 14th century, it was only about 150 years ago that it became recognisable as the sport we know today. Since then, it has swept the world like Alexander's irrepressible Greek army. Its centre, as every school boy knows, is St Andrews, which is to golfers what Utah is to the Mormons. Golf and St Andrews go together like pitch and putt. Even in February, on a Saturday morning that is numbingly cold, the fabled Old Course is host from first light to the game's adherents, negotiating their tortuous way round the links as the wind howls and white-capped waves break on the West Sands, the breathtaking backdrop to the movie Chariots of Fire. In July this year, the North Sea will form a more likely backdrop to the drama of the 129th Open Golf Championship, the Millennium Open.

'Theme park' sparks mixed reactions   more

Gavin Bell, The Scotsman, 8 July 1999

The only birdies to be seen at Kingask Farm on the outskirts of St Andrews yesterday were the feathered kind - larks, starlings and chaffinches chattering above a sweep of green and golden arable land sloping gently to the sea.

Douce town that failed to fight off the modernisers   more

James Rougvie, The Scotsman, 8 July 1999

It was the champagne reception hosted by Fife Council’s convener, John MacDougall, for the St Andrews Bay Development Co which alerted and alarmed douce St Andreans of a mega-development on their doorstep.

Crazy golf or golf crazy, asks conservation body   more

Gordon Berry, The Courier, 10 June 1999

A national conservation body has re-entered the debate currently raging over pressure on St Andrews from developers wishing to capitalise on the Home of Golf’s worldwide fame.

Battle for the soul of St. Andrews    more

Bradley S Klein, Golfweek, 1 May 1999

With two new courses just opened, a third under construction and four more under permit application, the tradition-bound town of St. Andrews is going through an identity crisis unlike anything in its storied past.

Keep resort glitz out of St Andrews   more

Golfweek, 1 May 1999

Anyone who doubts the sacred nature of golf at St. Andrews need only stand at the first tee of the Old Course, awaiting word from the starter to “play away, please.”

Links saturation warning issued   more

Gordon Berry, The Courier, 31 March 1999

The hopes of developers who want to use the “carrot” of the St Andrews Links to bring thousands of visitors to new luxury developments could be dashed if startling but informed predictions made in the town yesterday prove to be correct.

Plan's rejection a 'historic decision'   more

The Courier, 11 February 1999

The rejection of £50 million plans for a new hotel, conference, leisure and golf development at Kingask, near St Andrews, was described yesterday as a “historic decision” for the town.

Golf course boom falls in the rough   more

90 cash-strapped clubs forced to sell up at a loss

John Gaskell, The Daily Telegraph, 10 January 1999

Golf courses, created an unparalleled rate over the past decade, are proving to be albatrosses around the necks of their owners who find they must accept large losses to get out of the business. An estimated 90 courses are up for sale.

Golf's spiritual home accused of selling its soul to the game   more

Conservationists claim dash to develop new courses and resorts threatens to erode heritage of St Andrews

Frank O'Donnell, Scotland on Sunday, 4 October 1998

The Auld Grey Toon is in turmoil over the game that has brought it worldwide fame. Conservationists have warned that the unique character of St Andrews, the home of golf, is in danger of being destroyed by the massive upsurge in popularity of the pastime.

Development plans pose theme park threat - MP   more

The Courier, 16 September, 1998

The risk of St Andrews being turned into a massive “theme park” was hinted at yesterday by North East Fife MP Menzies Campbell following growing concerns over several planned multi-million-pound developments in and around the town.

St Andrews in £5 million tee-off times sale   more

Auslan Cramb, Electronic Telegraph, 16 November 1995

Golfers in St Andrews were planning a vociferous protest last night over the acquisition by a corporate hospitality company of seven per cent of the starting times on the Old Course.

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