The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, golf’s most recognised icon throughout the world, is about to undergo a major refurbishment.
In accepting that even the most venerable institutions need to keep moving with the times, the R&A is upgrading the interior and approaches of the clubhouse and yet maintaining the image which instantly defines the “Home of Golf”.
R&A projects secretary, Lachlan McIntosh, explained, “For several years the Club has been considering improvements and adjustments to the basement to create a separate access and new entrance to the locker rooms. This will create a long overdue upgrading and will match the rising expectations of our membership.”
WellwoodLeslie Architects, of Broughty Ferry, prepared a feasibility study which identified the area to the north of the clubhouse that could link through the basement stores to the locker rooms, giving access through the new north door to the first tee of the Old Course and the main Bruce Embankment car park where most members park their cars.
At the same time, the opportunity is being taken to upgrade other facilities with plans which include the provisions of a members shop and additional facilities on the ground floor together with staff changing, dining and rest room facilities. On the upper floors there will be a reorganisation of office space while the attic rooms and roofs will be adjusted to create an IT/telecoms centre and also a location for a new air conditioning plant to serve the main offices and members’ rooms.
Lachlan McIntosh said, “The designers have negotiated with the Planning Authority and Historic Scotland to achieve Approval and Listed Building Consent with only two conditions. One concerned the basement windows and the other requested a Structural Engineer’s Method Statement. Both have been quickly resolved and following receipt of a Building Warrant we sought tenders from local and national contractors. Construction work will commence this month and will be completed in April 2002.”
During the construction there will be a large canopy over the north end of the work to protect the building from the elements and enable work to proceed should poor weather be encountered during the winter contract period.
As well as the new basement access, the paved frontage to the clubhouse and the area past the Links Trust shop is to be resurfaced in materials sympathetic to the history and tradition of the location. A separate Planning Application has been lodged for replacement and improvement of the feature lighting of the outside of the building and it is intended to complete this near the end of the project.
At every stage, there has been close and co-operative liaison with the St Andrews Links Trust. Alan McGregor, general manager of the Links Trust, commented: “There has been first class communication and co-ordination, with a shared aim of providing appropriate facilities and access for golfers, members of the R&A and the public, whilst respecting the history and local character of the Home of Golf”.
Royal & Ancient Golf Club www.RandA.org