CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ROUTE TO ROCKLIFFE?
Golf for me has always been a family sport. My uncle is a golf professional and still works within the industry. Also, growing up in the south west coast of Scotland amongst an abundance of amazing courses, allowed me to fall into the game at a young
I joined the professional team at Turnberry at the age of 18, which is where I gained my PGA qualifications and started to compete in local events. As any young golf professional does, I spent a few years playing and at the time aspired to the main tours, with some local success.
I decided, however, that the business side of the industry was more suited to me, so I moved and worked with David Fleming, the head pro at Prestwick Golf Club for a few years before moving to the Middle East.
Moving to Dubai in 2009 and joining the team at The Els Club was an exciting time. The game was still rapidly growing and gaining personal experience in a fast paced environment was invaluable.
After six years at The Els Club I remained within the UAE and joined Abu Dhabi Golf Club as director of golf, a club that shows its trademark falcon clubhouse every year during the European Tour event.
Like many expats though, and nine great years with Troon Golf, there is always a time when you feel the need to return home. In 2018 I joined the team at London Golf Club, and it is from there that I joined Rockliffe Hall, adding the North East of England to my journey.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE JOINED THE TEAM?
I am extremely excited. The team has been very welcoming and I feel this is simply a product of the warm hospitality we expect to show to our members and guests.
I have also been extremely fortunate that the golf industry has allowed me the opportunity to travel and work in different countries around the world, and I would love to be able to pass on this experience to the Rockliffe Hall team starting out on their own journeys within the business.
HOW IS THE COURSE LOOKING AS WE HEAD INTO THE HEIGHT OF SUMMER?
It certainly is exciting to see golfers back enjoying the game. The appetite for golf hugely increased in 2020 and this was exciting for our industry, it gives us the chance to capture those who are new to the game and it also helps us highlight the many benefits that golf can offer.
After each of the three lockdowns have ended, we have seen how important social interaction between friends and colleagues can be.
The course at Rockliffe is in a strong position and the team has been working very hard on projects that will benefit our members and guests, both short and long term.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO GOLFERS RETURNING TO THE COURSE OR TO THOSE STARTING OUT?
I feel that over the past 12 months, the pandemic has affected individuals in many different ways and it is safe to say the overall physical health and mental wellbeing of the UK population has been highlighted as extremely important.
Whether you are new to the game or have been playing for many years, the social and physical advantages are there to enjoy. I have witnessed many new beginners, and the vast majority get hooked very quickly.
Golf can be very accessible now and I would only encourage you to give it a go. Rockliffe Hall extends a warm welcome to all who wish to learn.
ANY UPCOMING EVENTS FOR THE DIARY?
The club has an extensive member calendar for both golf and social events and we will look to build on this as guidelines continue to ease. As well as servicing our core membership, we will look to introduce dates for new players and the Academy team will continue their great work focusing on the development of our juniors.
There are a couple of Pro Tour dates in the diary for September. This is a tour where female and male professionals can compete on the same course, on the same day. This year both events at Rockliffe Hall are offering the leading female professional an exemption into the newly formed Justin Rose Ladies Series, a wonderful prize on offer for any aspiring professional.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ROCKLIFFE GOLF?
We will take pride in presenting the golf experience to a premium standard, and at the same time, we will continue to welcome our members, guests and visitors with open arms.