Jowett new head pro at Gleneagles

GLENEAGLES have appointed Andrew Jowett, currently the senior teaching professional at the Perthshire resort, to succeed Russell Smith as the new head professional at the 2014 Ryder Cup venue.

Smith, who joined the Gleneagles staff in 2002 before making a similar step up to take over from Sandy Smith as head pro, is leaving next month to become the director of golf at Close House, near Newcastle.

“Russell has developed a very strong team within the golf operation at Gleneagles and we are delighted to be able to announce that Andrew Jowett will assume the role of head golf professional upon Russell’s departure,” said Bernard Murphy, the general manager.

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“Having worked for some time at the Gleneagles PGA National Academy with Russell, we know that the good work done to date will be further developed as we turn our attention toward the Ryder in 2014 and beyond.”

Close House is owned by Graeme Wylie, an entrepreneur and well-known racehorse owner, and has world No 3 Lee Westwood, as its touring professional.

“Gleneagles is a fantastic place and I will be vexed to go, but this move is about developing my career and also challenging myself,” said Smith, a 39-year-old who was runner-up in the 1998 Luxembourg Open.

“I will be reponsible for growing the golf side of things at Close House and am looking forward to getting started there in early January.”

On Smith’s departure, Murphy added: “On the one hand, we are sorry to see Russell leave but, on the other, we are delighted that he has such an opportunity ahead of him.”