Plans for a world-class golf course, backed by Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke, could position an Angus holiday village as a premier golf tourism destination.
Planning permission is to be sought by Mike Forbes, the local entrepreneur behind the successful Forbes of Kingennie country resort, to create the 18-hole championship golf course development.
A world-class Golf Youth Academy, the first in the country, to be headed by Tiger Wood’s first golf coach and a five star hotel and spa are included in the development.
The development will also provide additional housing in the village of Wellbank, which will be a mix of executive – style luxury houses along the course edge, and affordable housing mixed with standard residences on the perimeter of the village.
The project is expected to inject £55m into the local economy, creating more than 100 jobs when the development is built, in addition to jobs required for the construction phase.
Darren Clarke said that he was delighted to put his name to the project. “I visited Kingennie during the Open in 2007 and was impressed by Mike Forbes’ enthusiasm and his level of commitment to providing a quality experience at his existing resort at Kingennie.
“It struck me that the land surrounding the resort had the ideal topography for an amazing golf course capable of offering professionals and amateurs alike a real challenge. I am very excited about being involved in this project, my first signature course in Scotland, which would make sure that golf tourism opportunities extend beyond adjacent Carnoustie and St Andrews.”
Alan Mitchell, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce said, “This is a huge investment which would be a tremendous boost for the area. It provides for 5-star accommodation, currently lacking in Angus, along with a championship course which will be an international draw, putting this region even more firmly on the global golf tourism map. Bringing a world class resort of this nature to Angus will add to the attraction of Carnoustie and the surrounding area.”
The course will be designed by golf course architect Graeme Webster and the Five Star Junior Golf Academy will be fronted by Rudy Duran, Tiger Wood’s first coach, and David Gosling, who created and designed the internationally recognised Young Masters Golf programme.
Mike Forbes said, “We are thrilled that Darren Clarke is putting his name to and support behind this golf development that aims to rival the best in the world. We have put together a talented team of experts to design the development, taking account of the existing community and landscape.
“We believe that in addition to the obvious benefits to Angus, this development will significantly enhance the area, which is currently largely agricultural, and provide Wellbank residents as well as visitors with out-standing facilities. Part of our plans could include road improvements, a network of footpaths to open up the currently inaccessible agricultural land and even investment in the local school. We are now at the stage where we can start to consult with the community over the plans and look forward to hearing their views.”
Members of the public are invited to attend an open exhibition on the plans from 4pm – 7pm on Friday 6th March at Wellbank Hall.
Award- winning resort Forbes of Kingennie currently comprises a nine-hole golf course, a putting green, and extensive fishing ponds. Four-star self-catering accommodation is provided in the 12 woodland lodges, with first-class dining facilities and function suite at Kingennie Country house. An exclusive luxury housing development, Kingennie Fields, was last year awarded the Herald Grand Prix and Best Luxury Homes Awards.
Forbes of Kingennie www.forbesofkingennie.com