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Gary tees up a top golf scholarship
July 26, 2011

A young Ayr travel agent who specialises in organising European golf holidays has just won a top scholarship after becoming runner-up in a prestigious national travel award scheme.

Gary McIntyre (23), who runs Stewart Travel's Golf division, came second in Golf Tourism Scotland's Young Person of the Year award held in North Berwick.

As a result, he was awarded a scholarship from drinks giant Diageo which sponsors the Johnnie Walker golf championships at Gleneagles at the end of August.

The award means Gary will spend time with the company learning how they organise the renowned European Tour event and get best value from their sponsorship. And he'll also attend the championships, allowing him to meet his golfing heroes including 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke, World Number 1 Luke Donald and past major winners including Ernie Els!

And it was a double cause for celebration this week... as Gary also got engaged to his girlfriend, dietitian Laura Douglas, on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

He explained that golf package holidays are proving very popular with Ayrshire people this year.

"Package holidays are back in vogue because people think in a recession they are a safer bet than booking independently. They give good value for money - an all-inclusive break allows people to know exactly what they'll spend before they pack their clubs and jet off. And our customers say our packages remove all the hassle so they can just relax and enjoy the golf."

The former Prestwick Academy pupil left school at sixteen to join Stewart Travel as an Office Junior. After spells in their Prestwick and Troon shops, he took on the Ayr-based Golf Division in November 2009.

"It's wonderful to have this responsibility so young in a business that I love," he said.

Gary explained what his company does.

"We arrange bespoke golf holidays to popular golf destinations, both in Scotland and further afield.

"Typically, we use four and five-star resorts such as La Manga Club in Spain and Le Meridien Penina in the Algarve.

"We take care of everything. When you step off the plane, we arrange airport transfers, hotel accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment, and even club hire and tee times. We ensure everything runs like clockwork so that the holiday is fantastic and memorable.

"Scotland is still extremely popular, and this summer I've arranged bespoke breaks for my customers at St Andrews, Gleneagles and Loch Lomond."

Gary says the Turkish resort of Belek is a very popular golf destination this year.

"Golf is huge over there and fantastic value overall. Belek is a custom-made golf resort and over the past couple of years it has quickly grown to become the most requested destination in the business. You need to book far in advance to secure the best tee times!

"It has some fifteen top courses such as the Faldo, Montgomerie, Lykia Links and Carya, and they are surrounded by excellent five-star hotels such as the Kempinski, the Cornelia Hotels, the Sueno and Lykia World Antalya. With direct flights from Glasgow to Antalya, it's easy to put together all-in packages and Scots are heading out there in big numbers this year."

And he added: "I've found people might cut back in other areas during a recession but they won't compromise on their golf."

Stewart Travel Chairman Willie Stewart said: "The Golf Division is going from strength to strength under Gary's management and direction. He has established strong relationships with leading golf hotels and resorts which are giving our clients great value. We have ambitious plans to enlarge the distribution to sell UK-wide through a network of selected travel agents."

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