Global Edition

Swans Fly Back To The ‘Home Of Golf’’

11.24am 1st July 2016 - Courses

Alex Swan, right, with Sir Henry Cotton in the early 1970s.
Alex Swan, right, with Sir Henry Cotton in the early 1970s.

Swan Golf Designs (SGD), a leading golf course architecture firm with more than 25 years’ experience, is returning to the ‘Home of Golf’ to begin long-term renovations at both Dunfermline and Moray golf clubs.

Following extensive and comprehensive audits of the courses at both historic Scottish venues, SGD has reviewed the analysis and recommendations given to the committees and anticipates work on initial phases of renovation and upgrading, on the 18 holes at Dunfermline and 36 at Moray, will begin in the autumn.

The new projects are just two of SGD’s many renovation and restoration programmes currently being implemented at home and abroad. The work is designed to upgrade and bring courses in line with modern expectations in terms of both equipment advances and attraction to players.

In the case of the links at Moray, in Lossiemouth, it is essential in order to attract visiting golfers from across the Atlantic who stop by regularly while on the trail from Dornoch to Royal Aberdeen and further south along the north and east Scottish coasts.

Howard Swan, architect with family owned SGD, explained: “If golf clubs in a challenging market such as the UK are to sustain their commercial value and profitability, they take a long-term view of the most important asset they have: the golf course. Often this is not the case and short-termism prevails.

“Creating that visionary plan for the future evolution of the facilities is very important in ensuring satisfactory planning of the business, and the adoption of a continuous and consistent policy and practice of improvement is simply vital.

“We are delighted to have the chance to head to Scotland to work with such historically important golf clubs and golf courses, particularly because of the long family association with the Moray golf club, where Alex Swan, my father, and William Swan’s grandfather, laid out the New course with Henry Cotton.”

Moray’s Old course, designed by Old Tom Morris and dating from 1889, is considered to be one of the finest links courses in Scotland, with deep revetted bunkers, undulating gorse-lined fairways and smooth fast greens. The New is shorter and tighter, reflecting Cotton’s preference for precision golf, but remains every bit as good as its sibling.

The course at Dunfermline – the fourth home of the golf club – was designed by JR Stutt and opened in 1953. The club itself was founded in 1887 and has a rich history. Dunfermline GC’s first course was to the east of the town, in Halbeath, before it moved to Ferryhills after only three years. In 1929 it moved to a James Braid course at Torrie, before settling on its current home, at Pitfirrane, 24 years later.

SGD is an independent and professional golf course architecture firm with a track record of providing clients with successful design solutions on golf course projects for more than 50 years.

Born out of the successful golf course designs undertaken by Alex Swan with three-time British Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton and continued by Alex’s son, Howard, and grandson, William, SGD has established itself as a leader in the field.

Based in the UK, SGD has earned commissions on four continents having designed or renovated courses from the UK to the USA, Brazil to Bosnia, Czech Republic to China, Iceland to India and Spain to South Africa among many others.

Swan Golf Designs

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