The 44-year-old, who hails from Yorkshire but has lived in East Lothian for 20 years, has been appointed from a strong list of candidates to succeed Elaine McBride, who starts as Portmarnock Golf Club’s first female general manager next month.
“I’m delighted,” said Bayne, who has been at Archerfield Links, where he has worked for owner Kevin Doyle under Tom Younger, the CEO, virtually from its inception, the Fidra course having opened in 2004 then the Dirleton course the following year. “It’s a fantastic opportunity and one I am relishing, I really am.”
Bayne studied at De Montfort University in Lincoln, where, after graduating with a business management degree, he took up a job at Foxhills in Surrey alongside Alasdair Good. When Good then moved to Gullane as the head professional, he offered Bayne the opportunity to join him in East Lothian.
“I spent two-and-a-half years working at Gullane, where I was involved in coaching and the retail side of the business, then I saw Archerfield emerging, as most of us did,” said Dirleton-based Bayne. “I managed to get the opportunity to join as head pro then, within a year and a half, I took over as director of golf and I’ve done that for fifteen-and-a-half to 16 years.
“I’ve been at Archerfield for 17 years, pretty much from the beginning, opening golf courses, clubhouses, a performance centre, lodges, events centre, and it’s been a fantastic journey.
“I’ll leave with a heavy heart, but I know I am leaving with it in a really good place as we’ve got a fantastic team here who will take it forward. It’s been brilliant and I’ll definitely be leaving a bit of myself behind but we’ll move on to my next challenge, which is phenomenal as well.
“I still believe Archerfield is one of the finest venues in Europe, but to have an opportunity to move to such an historic and wonderful golf course and a club with the history and heritage it has, I had to grab with both hands.
“I’ll be overseeing the whole operation and there are some wonderful people there. I am looking forward to working with Kyle Cruikshank, the recently-appointed new course manager. He’s had a lot of great experience in the industry as well and is a very forward-thinking young man. Also Stuart Martin, who has been leading golf operations for over three years, and Martyn Huish and his professional team.
“One of my main focuses is going to be on the member’s experience. The visitor experience is phenomenal anyway, but I am looking forward to putting my arms around the members and making them valued and loved as well.”
David Home, Chair of North Berwick’s Management Committee, is “delighted” that Bayne has accepted the post, which he will take up at the beginning of February. “These are extremely exciting times ahead for the club, further building on the appointment of a new course manager, Kyle Cruickshank, in October,” he added.