REMEMBER the Scottish National Golf Centre at Drumoig? The facility that was built at a cost of £4.6 million, nearly twice the original building estimate, and lasted no time as losses amounted to around £1 million.
Well, in an interesting development, it’s set to rise from the ashes, having been bought by Stuart Syme, a decent player himself as a youngster but getting more mention these days on the strength of the exploits of his son Connor, a semi-finalist in the recent Amateur Championship.
He’s taken on what was a white elephant for the Scottish Golf Union. Its head honchos at the time chose Drumoig for an ambitious project rather than a location in the Central Belt, where Dalmahoy was certainly one of the possible venues.
In essence, it was sited too far from the main centres of population and those losses led to the SGU using club members to bail them out as the levy went up by 100 per cent at one point.
It was a sorry chapter in the SGU’s history and one, even more than a decade on, that should still make those responsible for such a glaringly poor decision feel a pang of shame.
Under the stewardship of Syme – he hails from Ladybank and is returning to his roots after a spell as the PGA professional at Dumfries & County – the facility is set to be run along similar lines as the likes of the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on the outskirts of Aberdeen or Kingsfield near Linlithgow. Due to the rates being demanded for it by Fife Council, the structure that housed the indoor facility will be ripped down to leave only the driving bays while the new owner has also turned what were practice holes for leading amateurs into a par-3 course that will suit kids and beginners.