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Green light for Pitlochry Golf expansion
October 20, 2011

Pitlochry Golf Course Directors have welcomed planners' decision to approve their Centre for Excellence development, claiming it will take golf provision in Highland Perthshire to a new level.

Perth and Kinross Council's development control committee granted permission on Wednesday 19 th October for work to proceed on the ambitious £200 000 project at the scenic course.

Groundwork could now begin as early as next month, with the wide-ranging improvements giving Pitlochry Golf Course the finest facilities in Highland Perthshire.

A 12-bay covered driving range, short game area and 9-hole Academy Course will be introduced along with two par 5s on the existing course, which was designed by Willie Fernie of Troon in 1909.

At present, no clubs in the area provide facilities which enable players of all ages to work on every technical aspect of their game.

Directors believe the planners' decision is hugely significant, not only in the history of the course itself but in terms of sports provision and for driving tourism in Perthshire.

"This decision is very welcome and we look forward to getting the work started now," said Director, Richard Drummond.

"This is a milestone for the course and will make Pitlochry a major golfing destination. The development will create jobs and we will also be bringing people into the region which will, in turn, impact positively on tourism revenue.

"The only course which will have similar facilities in the whole of Perthshire will be Gleneagles. Naturally, we are very excited about the future."

In recommending the blueprint for approval, development quality manager Nick Brian said the proposals would 'significantly improve the golf course facilities', highlighting the potential for developing the sport's future generations.

The plan was also praised for its environmental detail, with Directors working closely with council environment officers, SNH and the Scottish Golf Environment Group.

New wildlife corridors, wetlands and improved pathways for walkers will be accommodated, with officials acknowledging 'significant improvement to biodiversity' on-site.

"The flora and fauna is diverse and we worked hard to ensure the plan incorporated this," said Director, Jon Erasmus.

"As well as providing wetlands and wildlife corridors, we will be providing routes for walkers which will be much better and safer."

With approval now granted for one of the biggest single developments in the club's 102 year history, the news represents another chapter in its renaissance.

There were serious concerns over its long-term viability until Co-Directors Drummond, Erasmus and Stephen Carruthers secured a 30 year lease from Pilochry Estates Trust in January 2010.

Since then, clubhouse bar and restaurant turnover has doubled and membership has risen 6 per cent per year to over 400 members and 100 community members.

Director Carruthers believes the new development will accelerate and cement the progress made, with aspirations to produce a Scottish junior international by 2018.

"This takes away limitations we have had in the past and provides people with an affordable facility, open to all, where you can do everything from putting and chipping to 18 holes and everything in between.

"The changes to the course itself, with the par fives, also makes it a more varied and complete experience for the golfer."

The final piece in the development jigsaw is confirmation of assistance from Sportscotland, with the national agency for sport looking favourably upon the venture.

Two PGA professionals will be on-site and techniques such as state-of-the-art video coaching will be available to help visitors master the intricacies of the game.

The projected timetable for each phase, subject to funding confirmation, is late Spring 2012 for the driving range, with the academy course and practice area to follow later in the year.

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




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