Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fife - Golf Destination of the Year, Europe 2012

Fife Recognised Internationally as the Golf Destination of Choice 

Fife has been named as the “Golf Destination of the Year – Europe, 2012” at The International Association of Golf Tour Operators Awards in Turkey last night (17th November). The Awards recognise exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel.

Stephen Owen, General Manager of Rufflets, St Andrews and member of the Fife Tourism Partnership was in Turkey with six Fife golf businesses to receive the Award. He said, ”This is a prestigious award for Fife – not only because it places Fife firmly on the international “green” as a fantastic place to visit and play golf, but also because it brings such important economic benefits to the area, too. It is an honour to accept the award on behalf of everyone in Fife involved with golf tourism and I am delighted to do so in the company of such excellent ambassador businesses from Fife, the home of Golf.”

Representatives from Fairmont St Andrews, Kingsbarns, Macdonald Rusacks Hotel, St Andrews Links, The Old Course Hotel and Stay in St Andrews have been exhibiting at The International Golf Travel Market in Antalya, Turkey this week. They were promoting Fife to hundreds of buyers and journalists from 65 countries, including Argentina, Norway, South Africa and China.

A second award also comes home to Fife as Fairmont St Andrews won Golf Resort of the Year – Europe, 2012.

Accolades poured in for both awards including from a delighted John Parker, chair of the Fife Tourism Partnership, “Congratulations to everyone involved and to the Fairmont for winning both these coveted titles. The reputation and economic value of internationally judged awards like these is immense and makes a huge contribution to tourism in Fife.”

Keith Winter, Head of Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services at Fife Council and interim Chair of the emerging Fife Golf Partnership, also congratulated the winners and said, “These awards provide a great launch platform for the new Fife Golf Partnership which will have its official launch next week. It is a network of Fife golf courses and clubs, accommodation providers, golf travel trade and industry trade associations working together to develop and improve the market position of Fife as a must-visit golf destination. We want to capitalise on Fife’s world class reputation and facilities and news of these awards is the perfect start.”

Fairmont St Andrews European Golf Resort of the Year

The five-star Fairmont St Andrews resort has cemented its position as a leading golf destination by being voted the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ (IAGTO) European Golf Resort of the Year 2012.

The award is one of the most prestigious available to golf resorts, having recognised the quality of its facilities and service and been voted for by IAGTO’s 400 plus specialist golf tour operators in 58 different countries.

It is the latest in a long line of accolades for the luxurious Scottish resort and comes hot on the heels of Fairmont St Andrews being named Golf Tourism Scotland’s Resort Hotel of the Year for the third time in four years.

And it was a double celebration for the region, as Fife won the European Golf Destination of the Year category.

Fairmont St Andrews’ general manager, Garrett Turta, who accepted the award on behalf of the resort, said: “We’re very proud of all the accolades Fairmont St Andrews has amassed, but this really is one of the resort’s biggest achievements.

“To have been voted the best in Europe by industry experts is quite a coup and a testament to the investment the owners have put in and the hard work and high standards of all our staff.”

Former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance designed one of Fairmont St Andrews’ championship courses and had recorded a special video message at the resort which was played at the awards ceremony.

He said: “Congratulations to the Fairmont St Andrews for winning European Golf Resort of the Year. The facilities here are superb; I love coming to stay at the resort for golf, leisure, fun, a wee dram, anything you like, it’s all available here. I’ve been involved with the Fairmont St Andrews for 10 years, and I’m delighted with the way the resort and courses have matured.”

In recent years Fairmont St Andrews has benefited from a £17m investment which included extensive improvements throughout both The Torrance and The Kittocks courses, refurbishment of the entire hotel and an extension to the leisure facilities to create a luxurious spa and fitness complex.

Since then the resort has hosted numerous prestigious events including final qualifying for the 2010 Open Championship, as well as being the venue for the last three Scottish Senior Opens.

During its 10-year history Fairmont St Andrews has accumulated a host of accolades for hospitality, golf, spa and cuisine, as well as welcoming some of the world’s most powerful individuals as the venue for a G20 summit and Northern Ireland peace talks, while Prince William was a regular visitor and member of the spa and gym while studying at university.

For more information or to book a stay, call 01334 837000, email or visit

Friday, November 4, 2011

GTS Annual Awards List 2011

The Scottish golf industry’s top honours have been announced at a glittering awards ceremony held in St Andrews. The annual Golf Tourism Scotland’s Gold Standard Awards is the sector’s blue-ribbon event where the very best of Scottish golf tourism is celebrated.

Hosted by Fairmont St Andrews, this year’s gala evening saw the presentation of 11 awards including the Special Achievement Award which was received by the former secretary of Prestwick Golf Club Ian Bunch. This year’s Young Industry Person of the Year was presented jointly to Simon Redmond from Macdonald Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews and Valerie Houston formerly of the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch.

The prestigious Golf Course of the Year award went to Kingsbarns Golf Links which beat off competition from the likes of Castle Stuart and North Berwick. In the accommodation provider category, this year’s hosts Fairmont St Andrews were named the country’s top resort, while Macdonald Rusacks Hotel was awarded the Large Hotel accolade.

Crail Golfing Society received the Golf Secretariat award and St Andrews Executive Travel was named Transport Operator of the Year. Elsewhere, Old Loans Inn at Troon received the Small Hotel/Guesthouse award while Meldrum House in Aberdeenshire was named Scotland’s best country hotel.

“This year’s awards reflect a busy year of events that have showcased the breadth and depth of Scotland ’s golfing sector,” noted GTS chairman Lee Derrick. “Many of the world’s leading amateur and professional players battled it out over courses across Scotland providing great opportunities to show the world what we do best. The industry as a whole benefits from these occasions, so with more high profile events scheduled for next year, including the Seniors Open at Turnberry, The Scottish Open returning to Castle Stuart and The Curtis Cup at The Nairn Golf Club these are undoubtedly exciting times for golf in Scotland .”

Other winners of the GTS Gold Standard Awards included Martin Roy of Carnoustie Golf Links who clinched the Caddiemaster of the Year accolade and Golf Scotland which picked up the Golf Tour Operator of the Year award.

The full list of winners is as follows:

GOLF COURSE OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any golf course in Scotland that offers tee-times to visitors. And the winner is:

Kingsbarns Golf Links

GOLF SECRETARIAT OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any golf club/course whose administration provides a service to visitors and/or the travel trade. And the winner is:

Crail Golfing Society

CADDIEMASTER OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any caddiemaster providing a service to visitors and/or the travel trade. And the winner is:

Martin Roy, Carnoustie Golf Links

HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Small hotel/guest house category). Nominations for this category were open to accommodation providers with 20 or fewer bedrooms that provide services to golf visitors. And the winner is:

Old Loans Inn, Troon

HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Country house hotel category). Nominations for this category were open to hotels and exclusive-use properties operating in rural areas that provide services to golf visitors. And the winner is:

Meldrum House County Hotel, Aberdeenshire

HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Large hotel category). Nominations for this category were open to hotels with more than 20 bedrooms which provide services to golf visitors. And the winner is:

Macdonald Rusacks Hotel, St Andrews

HOTEL OF THE YEAR (Resort hotel category). Nominations for this category were open to resort hotels with golf course(s) attached. And the winner is:

Fairmont St Andrews

GOLF TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any tour operator bringing golfers to Scotland . And the winner is:

Golf Scotland

TRANSPORT OPERATOR OF THE YEAR. Nominations for this category were open to any business providing transport services in Scotland including rail, road, air and sea. And the winner is:

St Andrews Executive Travel


Ian Bunch


Simon Redmond, Macdonald Rusacks Hotel and Valerie Houston, formerly of the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch