Ladybank Golf Club has received an unprecedented response to its new membership categories that were introduced as part of an innovative and far-reaching modernisation programme. The historic policy shift has prompted a flood of enquiries resulting in the prestigious Scottish club filling two thirds of its first ever country memberships within a month of unveiling the new options.
Located in North East Fife, the club has also introduced its first international membership category and is proactively establishing commercial partnerships with local and national businesses. Welcoming the club’s first ever country member, Ladybank’s new secretary said the response had been incredibly positive.
“The reaction has been wonderful,” said Gordon Simpson. “We have had an enormous amount of interest in our new membership categories from throughout the UK and further afield which illustrates the continuing admiration for the club. I was especially thrilled to welcome John Welham as the club’s first country member as he was one of the first people to express an interest in becoming a member of Ladybank through the new membership options.”
He continued: “Ladybank has a tradition stretching back over 138 years. Our reputation had been built on our fantastic parkland course, which was originally laid out by Old Tom Morris, and our wonderful clubhouse and practice facilities. Many visitors who play Ladybank for the first time want to return as members and it is gratifying to be able to offer them these options.”
Welham, chairman of the world’s largest independent shipping broker Simpson Spence Young, as well as being chairman of Chigwell Golf Club, is the first of 25 country members to join Ladybank. Receiving his membership, he recalled the first time he played the Fife course which sparked his interest in becoming a member.
“I remember when I first played Ladybank a few years ago, I thought how wonderful it must be to play it regularly as a member; to get to know the nuances of the layout its history and to form friendships in the wonderful clubhouse,” he said. “When the country memberships were announced, I jumped at the chance and was thrilled to receive confirmation of my successful application. I am looking forward to making a number of trips to Fife to play Ladybank, this time as a member!”
The club has also launched new categories for 18-25 year olds and 26-30 year olds and is establishing closer links with golf tour operators and key accommodation providers such as Rufflets Hotel; 2016 AA Scottish Hotel of the Year.
“Ladybank is going through a transition and welcoming the club’s first ever country member marks a milestone in that journey,” said Simpson. “There is still a long way to go and we have many plans for the club, but establishing a more flexible approach to membership has been one of the first, key changes to be made and I am thrilled with the response.”
As part of the ongoing developments, the club has also appointed new caterers who have been tasked with enhancing customer service levels and ensuring the quality of the food and beverages at the club exceeds expectations. “The idea is to listen to the customer and act on their feedback,” said Simpson. “Our new caterers, Grant and Lisa Conway, have many years of experience in the hospitality industry and are committed to delivering supreme levels of service and a menu befitting a club such as Ladybank.”
Ladybank’s new caterers currently own and operate The Inn at Abernethy which can trace its history back 1602 and was a 2015/2016 Scottish Thistle Award regional finalist. At the same time, Ladybank was named by National Club Golfer magazine as the best course in Scotland (for under £100). More recently, it was included in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 Courses of UK and Ireland which was released in December 2017.
Ladybank Golf Club is part of Links with History – an affiliation between Ladybank, Crail Golfing Society, Scotscraig and Lundin Links golf clubs – www.linkswithhistory.com
Ladybank Golf Club www.ladybankgolf.co.uk
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