Russell Smith takes up new role at Renaissance Club

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RUSSELL Smith, the former head professional at Gleneagles Hotel, has returned to Scotland to take up a new post after a spell south of the border.

He has succeeded David Armitage as director of golf at The Renaissance Club, where owner Jerry Sarvadi is delighted to have added Smith to his team.

“Russell brings over 20 years of golf and hospitality experience and I’m confident he will be a great addition,” said the American, who relishes showcasing the venue when its neighbour Muirfield stages the Open Championship in July.

During a decade at Gleneagles Hotel, Smith served as head pro and head of golf operations before leaving at the end of 2011 to become director of golf at Close House near Newcastle.

“I’m delighted to have joined the team at The Renaissance Club,” said Smith. “The team have done a great job over the last few years and I hope I can build on this success.

“The Renaissance Club is a world-class golf club and, with the luxurious clubhouse opening this month, the wonderful new golf holes that will open very soon and the Open Championship coming back to East Lothian this summer, it’s an exciting time for the club.

“I am very fortunate to already know several members and it’s a real pleasure to be part of such a special club.”

Armitage, who was head pro when the East Lothian club opened just over five years ago before stepping up to director of golf, is heading for America to work for Donald Trump.

“The Renaissance is a very special place and I am sure it will become one of the great clubs in Scotland,” he said.

“But, in terms of my own future, I’ve been invited to join the Trump Organisation in New Jersey with the prospect of moving to New York City to open a new development next year. The move seems a natural progression to further develop as a professional golf manager.”