Bobby Rushford teeing up indoor golf across Scotland

It’s helpful having a golf and business brain. Just ask Bobby Rushford, who is using that combination to impressive effect to tee up indoor golf across Scotland at a time when the sport is in the middle of a boom.

Bobby Rushford, centre, with Chris Gallacger, left, and Richard McLuckie, right, at the new Fairways Indoor Golf Studio at Abbotsford Business Park in Falkirk
Bobby Rushford, centre, with Chris Gallacger, left, and Richard McLuckie, right, at the new Fairways Indoor Golf Studio at Abbotsford Business Park in Falkirk

Aiming to build on his success since taking over the Fairways Indoor Golf Arena at Coatbridge, the Stirling University graduate is set to open two new similar facilities in the Central Belt at the beginning of next month.

In tandem with businessman and keen golfer Chris Gallagher and experienced golf club manager Richard McLuckie, Rushford is opening Fairways Golf Studios at both Abbotsford Business Park in Falkirk and at Maxim Park, which is located at Euro Central between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The two facilities have been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but, at a time when the appetite for different types of golf is ever-increasing, Rushford is excited about the new offerings.

Bobby Rushford in action at the Galvin Green PGA Assistants' Championship at Coventry Golf Club in 2015. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

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“I basically used the time off last year due to the initial Covid-19 shutdown to drive my business into a new direction with more shops and new smaller indoor facilities,” said Rushford, who achieved a BA Honours degree in Sports and Business Management and a MSC in Sports Management at Stirling.

“The intention is to grow indoor centres across the country, with our aim to have a professional shop within 10 miles of all of the indoor sites.

“Across both sites, we will have seven professionals who will offer coaching. We will also offer a large junior coaching programme.

“Fundamentally, we wish to engage with all local golf clubs to allow their members golf for 12 months of the year, allowing the club professionals in the area the opportunity to coach within the facilities.”

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The Falkirk facility will have four simulator bays and the one at Maxim will have three, each of which will be powered by Trackman 4 technology.

“We will be branded as a Trackman Performance Centre,” added Rushford. “Each facility will also have a seperate putting studio to allow customers the chance to work on their full game.

“As well as simulator play, a large focus will be on coaching. We very much see our facilities as performance centres.”

Rushford, who also runs a Fairways Professional Shops that involves shops at Sandyhills GC, Bishopbriggs GC and Dalziel Park GC, believes the Scottish weather, especially at this time of the year, is another “big factor” in the demand for indoor golf.

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“I think it suits people in terms of time constraints as well,” said the man who won the Scottish University Order of Merit in 2010 and captained the Stirling team to Scottish, British and European titles the following year. “We can have people play St Andrews in an hour on a Saturday morning.

“I also think people are very much looking for technology. Youtube etc has become so popular and people want to try out what they see in the videos. Trackman also allows players to play live against players all over the world.”

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