Alan McGregor is to retire later this year as chief executive of St Andrews Links Trust after 13 years in the post.
The recruitment process for Alan’s successor is about to begin with the position being advertised in the local and national press. The Trust is seeking someone with experience of a similar senior role to take over the high profile position at the Home of Golf.
Alan has led the Trust, which manages the Old Course and the other six public courses at the Links, through two Open Championships and will be in charge for the final time when the Open returns to St Andrews in July
Alan has overseen some substantial improvements in the condition of the courses and the quality and range of facilities on offer at St Andrews Links. It is widely acknowledged that the Old Course and the other Links courses have never been in finer condition and, as well as staging the Open itself, the Old Course has played host to the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Curtis Cup in recent years.
The Castle Course opened in June 2008 to great acclaim and has gone on to win awards, quickly becoming recognised as one of the finest new courses in the world.
During Alan’s time in charge, the Eden Clubhouse was opened to service the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove courses. The Trust has invested substantially in its greenkeeping facilities and has focused on managing the Links sustainably through programmes such as grassland and gorse management, winning a clutch of prestigious environmental awards.
St Andrews Links Golf Practice Centre was doubled in size in 2006 and the state of the art Golf Academy was opened with a team of PGA professionals using cutting edge technology to provide coaching for golfers of all abilities.
St Andrews Links’ Food and Beverage operation was taken inhouse in 1998 and this was followed a year later by retail. This enabled the Trust to make great strides forward in terms of the service provided in its three clubhouse restaurants and in the offering of official Old Course, St Andrews Links and Castle Course merchandise available from its four golf shops.
Another key success was the establishment of St Andrews Links Junior Golf Association (SALJGA) in partnership with the local golf clubs in 2001. Hundreds of youngsters in St Andrews aged 5-18 have benefited from top class coaching and participating in junior competitions and now some of the SALJGA members are starting to appear in the Scottish national squads.
Last year the Trust agreed a global partnership with Allianz, one of the world’s leading financial services companies. The partnership has enabled the Trust to expand its marketing globally with a TV commercial being aired on CNN and CNBC in the US and print advertising appearing in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine and the Financial Times.
“It has been a privilege to lead the organisation for 13 years and to work with such an excellent team of people,” said Alan. “We have made great progress in developing the courses, facilities and service at the Links and in delivering a first class experience to our golfing customers. It has been extremely satisfying that the Links is now widely regarded as an exemplar for successful and sustainable golf course management.
“I am confident that my successor will take over a vibrant organisation but I know there will be challenges ahead to ensure that St Andrews Links continues to set standards to which others aspire.”
Recruitment for the chief executive position at St Andrews Links is being handled by Odgers Berndston. For more information visit www.odgers.com/30640.
St Andrews Links Trust www.standrews.org.uk