The Machrie tees up internships for young golf enthusiasts

Young golf enthusiasts are being offered a dream opportunity to carve out a career in the industry at the same time as enjoying island life through new internships being launched by one of the top Scottish resorts.

The Machrie Hotel on Islay has 47 rooms, suites and lodges, some with their outdoor terraces, and stunning views across the golf course, which was re-designed by DJ Russell. Picture: The Machrie.

The Machrie, which is located on Islay, is looking to give youngsters the chance to learn about every aspect of running a course and hotel through the first initiative of its kind in Scotland, according to head of golf Dean Muir.

“Originally, the idea came about after being driven by the owners,” Muir told The Scotsman, referring to Baroness Sue Nye, a former director of government relations at No 10 Downing Street, and her husband Gavyn Davies.

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“Gavyn did an internship himself as a teenger and thoroughly enjoyed his time doing that and learned a lot from it, so we kind of want to give something back.

“The interns are being offered the chance to work in a golf resort whether it be in course maintenance on the greenkeeping side or in the hotel and golf operations.”

The internships, which will run for between three to six months, will be spent at a resort that has quickly established an excellent reputation, both on and off the DJ Russell re-designed course, under the current owners.

“We started off with the idea of having eight candidates for next summer, but we may go higher than that. It is really just dependent on the applicants,” added Muir.

“As everybody has been very much aware, there has been a real shortage of hospitality staff, so we are looking to fill that void but fill it with golfers or people with an interest in golf.

“As a golf resort, we want the front-facing staff to be able to talk about golf and interact with the golfers on site and to have a knowledge of the game and, preferably, play it themselves.

“As much as we want them to come here and work, we also want them to learn when they are on site. There will be a focus on training and education as we try to give them the tools for their career.

“In no way do we see it just as summer seasonal work. We want it to be an actual intern programme and, as part of that, we want them to be able to have enjoyment in their down time.

“Golfers, for example, would be given the chance to play golf somewhere locally and they’d also be given the chance to see the island, see the distilleries and let them really experience life on Islay and what it offers.

“It’s not just going to be about the work here; it’s about trying to give them an experience.”

The opportunity has been welcomed by 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, who has been involved in The Race to Machrie, an event at the resort involving his junior foundation and others in Scotland for the past two years.

He said: “The development of an intern programme is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone wishing to have new experiences in an exceptional golf environment, enter the golf industry or enjoy a summer on Islay playing golf and developing transferable skills for any walk of life.”

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