Fortrose and Rosemarkie
Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club has a proud history and is working hard to continue to develop over the coming years. Golf Club Magazine recently caught up with Club Secretary Mike MacDonald to find out more about the good work they’ve been doing lately.
He told us, “I first started working for Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Links during the month of May 2003. I have been a member here since my junior days so I have always had an affiliation with the Club as I lived very close by.
My parents used to take me and my brother down to golf when possible so it carried on from there really. I have been the Junior Club Champion three times, the Men’s Champion eight times and I have also won the County Championship twice and the District Championship once whilst representing the Club.”
“The most challenging aspects over the last few years has been with membership retention. There are many golfers who play golf these days but they are not necessarily members of golf clubs so every effort goes in to keeping the members happy and to ensure that they continue being members on what is the 15th Oldest Recorded Club in the World (1793) for as long as possible.
When I first started here we had 700 members and this has increased to nearly 1000. We are becoming a really popular destination for golf in the Highlands of Scotland with visiting golfers worldwide wanting to play on what is a truly fantastic links course and where they get true value for money.
Since I started here in 2003, I have managed to secure ten national tournaments for the Club which is fantastic for the area as a whole and this year we are hosting the Scottish Boys Under 16s Open Championship during the month of July. The players are represented from countries including Austria, Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales.”
“This club is very well run at committee level as a whole and we have a new Head Golf Professional in place in Rob Douglas so this enhances what we do even more. Any year where we can turn over a good profit is a good one for the Club and we continue to do so for the benefit of our members which is then reinvested in the golf course and facilities we have to offer. 2017 was another excellent year for the Club and we continue to go in the right direction.
We are looking at all of the options for a clubhouse extension and an overall enhancement of our locker room area for 2018/2019 so at this time we are analysing everything before we take matters further.”
“We are a community club because as well as the golfers who use the golf course and facilities who live locally we have many social members of the club and we provide a catering facility in the clubhouse where the views are simply stunning for anyone coming to the Club for a drink, to socialise or to have a meal with friends and family.
Youth development is also very important to us. We will be investing money in our Club Pro and Assistant Pro to take our junior players who are showing potential to the next level at the end of this year and for many years to come as they are the future.”
“We provide memberships for beginners so why not come along to the Club and give it a go. We have a fantastic golf Professional who provides lessons to young and old and to those who are experienced in the game and new to the game. Golf keeps you fit and active so regardless of your age you should seriously consider trying it out for yourself.”
“I believe the biggest issue is with memberships and affordability given that the children nowadays have so many more opportunities available to them than when I was a junior player. We have a junior ClubGolf programme in place with 50+ children taking part throughout the year and with Rob Douglas and his assistant Jake, now in place there is further opportunity to take kids we have here to the next level.”
“Our ambitions are to continue to host national championships on behalf of Scottish Golf as anyone coming here will be playing one of the best golf courses in Scotland. We obviously want to continue to make a profit to further enhance our facilities and to ensure that members and visitors who come to our course are given the best experience possible. Last year we won Scotland’s Best Golfing Experience at the Scottish Golf Tourism Awards and we have also only recently won an additional award from the Luxury Travel Guide Lifestyle Awards where we have been honoured with the accolade of Golf Club of the Year for Scotland for 2018.
I can promise any golfing party visiting here this season and indeed in the future the best golfing experience as the staff who work with me are fantastic at what they do. They go that extra step to ensure that members and visitors who come here, enjoy their day as much as possible and that their visit here is a memorable one.
With the right staff in place both on and off the golf course we will strive to continue to be one of the best clubs in Scotland and the UK.”