Sam Torrance, Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain, has this week opened his first ever golf course design, the eponymously named Torrance Course, at St Andrews Bay, the £50 million golf resort, spa and conference centre, said to be the UK’s largest hotel investment
The spectacular 7,020 yard, par 72 course set on cliff-tops overlooking St Andrews has stunning views over the North Sea and will be joined next summer by its sister course, the Devlin, providing 36 holes of true “championship” golf.
The ebullient Sam Torrance commented, “I’ve been asked to design courses previously and said no, but it’s only once in a lifetime that you get asked to build a course with such a dramatic setting – especially at St Andrews. This time it had to be yes.”
The £7 million design is part of the exciting new resort that opened earlier in the year, the vision of Don Panoz the American pharmaceutical magnate. St Andrews Bay is the first European property of Ch®teau à‰lan Hotels and Resorts, one of his many business interests around the world.
“As soon as I saw this setting I knew we had something special,” said Don Panoz, “and the opening of the Torrance Course has brought a long-term vision and dream to life. Gene Sarazen visited the site and provided initial sketches and Sam has created a test of golf that can be handed down to future generations.
“Our investment has been significant at St Andrews Bay,” he continued, “and our next phase of development, including the Devlin Course, is on schedule. Although this year has been a difficult one for the entire UK tourism industry, we’ve developed a product and level of service that provides a point of difference to both the business and leisure sectors.
“We’ve been encouraged since we opened our doors in June and, even allowing for the tragic events of last month, bookings remain healthy with continental Europe and the UK rescheduling many conferences to resorts such as ours.”
St Andrews Bay www.standrewsbay.com