The build-up to Golf Tourism Scotland’s Gold Standard Awards is underway with the nominees for this year’s event being announced by the sector’s leading trade body. The glittering, red-carpet event, which brings together representatives from the travel, hospitality and golf service sectors, will take place in November at the new-look Turnberry Resort.
There are three golf specific categories with 20 nominees vying for the coveted awards. One of the most hotly contested groups is the Golf Course of the Year award where Turnberry’s Ailsa Course, Balcomie Links at Crail, Kingsbarns, Muirfield, North Berwick, Prestwick and the Duke’s Course in St Andrews are all in contention. This year they are also joined by newcomer Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness and a new-look Torrance course at the Fairmont St Andrews resort.
Other awards will go to the leading golf secretariat and top caddiemaster. As Nick Hunter, Chairman of GTS, pointed out, Scotland’s golf industry is fighting its corner under challenging economic conditions.
“Like most industries, Scotland’s golf sector has been confronted by a number of challenges,” he noted. “What is encouraging is the way in which we have responded to these difficulties by upping service levels and improving customer experiences. The GTS Gold Standard Awards salutes the gains made by clubs and courses in these testing times.”
The GTS Gold Standard Awards include 11 awards that celebrate the best in Scottish golf tourism. As well as recognising the year’s top golf course, golf secretariat and top caddiemaster, they also acknowledge the leading transport operator, golf tour operator and golf hotels. This year’s event will also include a new Special Achievement Award as well as the acclaimed Young Industry Person Award.
“The Gold Standard Awards celebrate the best our country has to offer,” continued Hunter. “It encompasses the core elements of Scotland’s golf industry from tour operators to the golf courses themselves, and everything in-between. It is a great opportunity to review one of Scotland’s most important industries and celebrate what we do best.”
This year’s event will follow the format established at last year’s showcase when GTS members not only nominated for the first time online but also cast their votes via the internet. As a result, the GTS Gold Standard Awards are the only Scottish golf industry honours to be nominated and voted for by the industry itself.
- The nominees for Golf Secretariat of the Year are: Carnoustie Golf Links; Castle Stuart Golf Links; Crail Golfing Society; Kingsbarns Golf Links; Nairn Golf Club; North Berwick Golf Club; Prestwick Golf Club and Western Gailes Golf Club.
- The nominees for Caddiemaster of the Year are: Sam Fox (North Berwick Golf Club); Davie Gilchrist (Kingsbarns Golf Links) and Martin Roy (Carnoustie Links).
- The nominees for Golf Course of the Year are: Ailsa Course (Turnberry); Balcomie Links (Crail); Castle Stuart Golf Links (Inverness); Duke’s Course (St Andrews); Kingsbarns Golf Links (nr St Andrews); Muirfield; North Berwick West Links; Prestwick and Torrance Course (St Andrews).
- The nominees for the Hotel of the Year award in the small hotel/guest house category are: Brownhills Guest House (St Andrews); Dunvegan Hotel (St Andrews); Eagle Hotel (Dornoch); North Berwick Golf Lodge; Ogstons on North Street
(St Andrews); Old Loans Inn (Loans nr Troon) and Sandhill House (Troon).
- The nominees for the Hotel of the Year award in the country house hotel category are: Ballathie Country House Hotel (Kinclaven, Perthshire); Culloden House Hotel (Inverness); Greywalls (Gullane); Rufflets Country House Hotel (St Andrews) and Winton House (Pencaitland, East Lothian).
- The nominees for the Hotel of the Year award in the large hotel category are: Gailes Hotel (Irvine); Inn at Lathones (nr St Andrews); Kilspindie House Hotel (Aberlady); Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa (North Berwick); Macdonald Rusacks Hotel (St Andrews); Parkstone Hotel (Prestwick) and St Andrews Golf Hotel.
- The nominees for the Hotel of the Year award in the resort hotel category are: Cameron House on Loch Lomond; Fairmont St Andrews; Gleneagles Hotel; Green Hotel (Kinross); Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa (St Andrews) and Turnberry Resort.
- The nominees for Transport Operator of the Year are: 1st Class Travel; Executive Travel Company; McLaren Travel; St Andrews Executive Travel; Scottish Travel Services; Top Chauffeur Services; Tour Drive and Woods Coaches.
- The nominees for Golf Tour Operator of the Year are: Drumgolf; Executive Golf & Leisure; Golf Scotland; Haversham and Baker; Links Golf St Andrews; Morton Golf; Pioneer Golf; Spela-Golf.com; Jerry Quinlan’s Celtic Golf and Wilkinson Travel Services.
Golf Tourism Scotland www.golftourismscotland.com