Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Verdura Spa & Golf Resort's sixth green with the Mediterranean providing the blue background.

......................................The approach to the 18th green at Verdura Spa & Golf Resort.

Niall Cameron Director of Golf Operations at

Verdura Spa & Golf Resort in Sicily
Some people have all the luck! Glasgow-born Niall Cameron, now 50, is Director of Golf Operations at Verdura Spa & Golf Resort in Sicily, Italy. Has been in this plum job since July 2008.
But, to be fair, luck does not have much to do with Cameron's success. Being in the right place at the right time is not Niall's secret as he has built up an impressive international CV.
As you can read below, it stretches from winter work as a young assistant professional to Bob Jamieson at Turnberry on Arnold Palmer's course at Bay Hill Club, Orlando to designing and building a course at Marrakesh, Morocco and working with course architect Kyle Phillips (of Kingsbarns fame) over the last 15 months of the Verdura project.
"I have a low boredom threshold and I have been able to change direction in my career several times and consider myself very lucky to have been able to do so," says Niall, pictured above.
Cameron has also been lucky in love. He married Fiona Alcorn in 1987 and they have two sons. The elder, Alasdair (19) is a student at Aberdeen University and the younger, Robbie (18) is sitting A Levels this year.
Niall and Fiona must have made a formidable mixed foursomes pairing at their peak. She still has two of a handicap and is a past club champion at Cardross Golf Club and three times women's of Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, Deal in Kent.
So let's have a look at Niall Cameron's CV:

Born Glasgow 1959
Brought up from age of four at Turnberry. Family lived opposite the first fairway.
Became assistant to Bob Jamieson, the head pro at Turnberry.
1977-82: Five years winter work arrangement at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida. There Niall acquired early knowledge about golf course agronomy which would later be developed.
Scottish assistants champion at Prestwick 1979. Played in Open Championship at Muirfield 1980.
British PGA 'Trainee of the Year' 1980 and winner of the Scottish equivalent 'Stuart Thom' Award 1980.
1981-82 Played European Tour.
1983-84 Club pro at Tenby, South Wales.
1984-88 Cardross GC head pro.
1988-95 Head pro at Royal St George’s, Sandwich (Greg Norman’s 1993 Open win there during tenure).

1995 to 2008 Worked at Lyford Cay, Nassau, Bahamas for 13 years, having been approached by New York Search Company for Director of Golf position.
Worked closely with the Bahamian Golf Federation to further golf especially to the BGF Junior programme. In charge of all golf aspects including retail, golf cart operation, caddy programme, golf services, tuition and tournament schedules , corporate golf business and course agronomy. Oversaw direct staff of 56.

2004-05 Designed and built course in Marrakesh, Morocco www.assoufid.com Scheduled to open November 2010 and the Assoufid Hotel will be managed by the Rocco Forte Collection http://www.roccofortecollection.com/ Due to open 2011.

July 2008- Director of Golf Operations at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort Sicily. Worked with course designer Kyle Phillips over last 15 months before course opened to ensure final course construction was carried out to specification.
Oversaw the 'grow-in' of the 45 holes and extensive practice facilities. Conducted staff search and placement, all pre-opening procedures, wrote Operation Manual etc.
Oversee a staff of 49.

Niall and Fiona Cameron with their sons Alasdair (left) and Robbie (right) at a recent wedding in Scotland.



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