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Pitlochry Golf Course unveils Centre of Excellence plan
August 1, 2011

Pitlochry Golf Course yesterday unveiled a £200 000 'Centre of Excellence' blueprint that will give the course the finest facilities in Highland Perthshire.

The major development, which is set to create 4 new full-time jobs, will see the introduction of a new driving range, short game area and an Academy Course.

There will also be further improvements to the existing course, with the introduction of two Par 5s, new wildlife corridors plus improved paths for local walkers.

The development is one of the biggest projects in the club's 102 year history and marks a milestone in the renaissance of a course which shaped the skills of Ryder Cup legend, John Panton.

Serious doubts existed over its viability until businessmen Richard Drummond, Stephen Carruthers and Jon Erasmus secured the lease from Pitlochry Estates Trust in January 2010.

Since then, the trio have transformed the club, with Golf World Magazine recently listing Pitlochry in its '14 Scottish hidden gems'.

At present, Gleneagles is the only facility in Perthshire to offer visitors a similar range of facilities to those being planned at Pitlochry.

The course's Directors believe this investment underlines their ambition to make Pitlochry Golf Course one of the best inland facilities in Scotland.

"What we are developing here is a Centre of Excellence for Golf," said Director Stephen Carruthers, who has been a member for 38 years.

"We will have practicing and coaching facilities that will only be matched in this area by Gleneagles.

"There are a number of courses in the region but they don't have practice facilities so we hope to be a centre for all golfers, even those who are not members here.

"The improvements will give us facility where everyone will be welcome, whether they are playing for the first time or seeking top level coaching."

Perth and Kinross Council planning officials are due to make a decision on the project within the next two months.

Providing this is granted, the driving range will be operational by Spring 2012, with the short game area ready in the summer.

The Academy Course is planned for Spring 2013, with the new Par 5s introduced during the process.

Two PGA professionals will be on-site, with one dedicated teaching professional deployed and video coaching facilities introduced.

Directors are hopeful of Sportscotland funding for a development they feel will help position Perthshire as a new golf tourism 'destination of choice'.

"Too many courses outside of the big golf areas are described as hidden gems. By doing all of this, Pitlochry will become a golf destination in its own right," said Director, Jon Erasmus.

"What this means is that Perthshire will have a must-play, must-visit facility."

Co-Director Richard Drummond agreed: "This will bring people to the area, helping the local economy. With so many promising young players coming through here, too, the standard of golf at junior level will improve greatly."

Since acquiring the lease, the businessmen have revolutionised clubhouse dining and are have refurbished self-catering accommodations to a 4 Star luxury standard.

The club has 500 members at present, 20 per cent of whom are community members who use the facilities for dining and recreation.

One of its current members is national sporting heroine, Eve Muirhead.

More renowned for her feats on the curling rink, the multiple world junior curling champion is also a two times Ladies Club Champion at Pitlochry Golf Course.

She believes the new developments will make Pitlochry a major draw for golfers.

"These developments will take Pitlochry Golf Course to a different level," said the 21 year old, who plays off a handicap of 2.

"It will enable players to really improve their game and, because there are few such facilities around the area, it is great to see Pitlochry getting up there alongside the top courses."

For More Information regarding this release, please contact the Press Office, on 07823 770 651.




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