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Issue 9 - Agolfresortforthe21stcentury

Scotland Magazine Issue 9
July 2003

 

This article is 14 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Agolfresortforthe21stcentury

STANDREWSBAYGOLFRESORTANDSPAISCHALLENGINGCONVENTIONINTHE HEARTLANDOFGOLF.DOMINICROSKROWVISITEDIT

Thegrainandthegrape.GlasgowRangersandGlasgowCeltic.Sugarandsalt.Therearesomecombinationsthataresimplynotdesignedtogotogether.

Andprettyhighuponthatlistwouldbegolfandfamilies.Thereareplentyofmalegolferswhostillthinkit’sbadenoughthatwomenareallowedtogracethegolfcourse.Theprospectofoffspringrunningaroundtheclubhouseisjustonesteptoofar.

Indeed,themoretraditionalthegolf,themorelikelyitisthatwomenareonlyallowedtositinacupboardbeforebreakfastonWednesdaysandchildrenareneitherseennorheard.

WhichmakesthepolicyofStAndrewsBayGolfResortandSpathatmuchmoreamazing.Forhere,intheheartofgolf’spromisedlandandonlyaOneIron-driveawayfromtheOldCourse,theydon’tjusttoleratechildren–theyactivelyencouragethem.

Justsoasweknowwhatwe’retalkingabouthere,theGolfResortandSpaisthenewhotelandleisurecomplexbuilttoAmericanspecificationsandmodelledonaseriesofexclusive,five-starresortsacrosstheworld.

Itsdouble-headedmissionissimple;toemulatethepurestyleandqualityoftheoutlets–theyareremarkablysimilarindesignandcontent–andtodeliverthestandardsofprofessionalserviceinthemostfriendlyandinclusivewaypossible.Inanutshell,staffherearetrainedtoactasyourbestmateononelevel,andtomeetthemostexactingservicestandardsonanother.

Andtogetthatrighttakesmorethanhardwork.Ittakesafirst-classrecruitmentpolicytoprovidetherawmaterialandyearsofdedicatedtrainingafterwards,sothattheendresultisaseeminglynaturalcombinationofthepositiveineverysinglestaffmember.

Theoutcomeofallthisisaresortthatfeelslikehomeassoonasyoustepoutofyourcardoorandwalktowardsthehotelentrance.And
thepointaboutfamiliesisthatthey’remadetofeeljustaswelcomeasanygolf-mindedbusinessmanorbusiness-mindedgolfer.

Theresortiswheretwoworldsmeet;thenewsitscomfortablywiththeold,thetraditionsofgolfmeetthemoderndemandsofthefamily-orientedtourist,andfinefoodanddrinksitscomfortablyinmodernandluxurioussurrounds.

Thetwoworldsonlyclashatonepoint,anditisthehotel’sonlyrealweakness;themainrestaurant,light,spaciousandchild-friendly–theycanrunaboutunimpeded–isimpersonalandlackinginintimacy.Insuchsurroundings,itcomesoverasaglorifiedcanteen.

Butthat’sbeingdealtwith–anewfinediningrestaurantisontheway,andinthebiggerpicture,we’requibblinghere.

Sowhatexactlydoestheresortofferitsthreemaincustomertypes–golfers,businessmenandfamilies?

Forthegolfertherearetwo18holecourses,bothofwhicharegainingreputationsfortheirquality.Oneisalinkscourse,theotheranAmerican-stylecourse,andbothhavesettledwellandaredisplayingthesortofconsistencythatwillonedayputthemintheframeforinternationalcompetition.

TheAmerican-stylecourseoffersplayersfourlevels,andforgolfsalesmanagerIanKnoxitisachallengeconvincingmoreestablishedplayersnottobiteoffmorethantheycanchew.

“Itelleveryonenottogooffthelongestteesbecauseit’sthatmuchlessenjoyableunlessyou’rereallygood.Evenplayerswithlowhandicapsshouldconquerthenextleveldownfirst.Butifyou’repreparedtodothat,thiscourseisalotoffun.”

Unsurprisingly,Ianandhisteamkeeptheholesinperfectcondition,andtheyareworthyoftheirstatusinthehallowedareathatisStAndrews.

Butyoudon’thavetobeagolfertobenefitfromtheresort.Businessfacilitiesincludespaceforexhibitions,thepotentialtotakeovertheresortforlargerconferencesandfunctions,andaminivillageofmeetingroomstocaterforjustaboutanygroupsize.Allthehi-techconferencefacilitiesareonhand,ofcourse,andthereisacinemaroomforspecialpresentations.

Cometheweekend,thosefacilitiescanbeadaptedtokeepthechildrenhappywhiletheparentstakeadvantageofthegolfortheluxurypool,gymandspafacilities.

Thecinemashowsfamilyfilmsatweekends,oneofthelargerconferenceroomsturnsintoacreche,andbecausetheresort’ssobig,itallhappensoutofthewayofthelessfamily-inclinedguest.

Elsewhere,well,yougetwhatyouwouldexpectfromafive-starresort;stunningandspaciousrooms,excellentchoiceoffoodandwine,thesortofluxurythateventhemostdiscerningcustomerwouldrelish.

Butsowhat?Youcangetthatsortofthinganywhere.

AndwhenyoucometoanalysingjustwhyStAndrewsBayisupamongthebesthotelsintheworld,youcomebacktothatspecialfriendlyserviceandthatall-inclusiveattitude.

Greatfood?Xdollars.Greatfacilities?Ydollars.Thefinestservice?Priceless.