Thursday, June 03, 2010

Capital collection drew Grimwade back to Scotland from US

Edinburgh Leisure's new Head of Golf says the Capital's collection of unique municipal courses was one of the main reasons he turned his back on America to return to Scotland.
Ian Grimwade took up his new position just over six weeks ago and has been busy familiarising with staff at the six courses he's now in charge of.
He was also an interested onlooker during the Evening News Dispatch Trophy up at the Braids and certainly believes it has plenty of untapped potential.
"They are not your typical council courses," said Grimwade of the Braids, Carrick Knowe, Craigentinny, Portobello, Princes and Silverknowes. "There's great diversity in the portfolio and I see them as good mid-range, daily fee public access golf courses."
Originally from Dunfermline, though he lived in Edinburgh when he gained a computer science degree at Heriot-Watt University, Grimwade has arrived back in the Capital with some good experience behind him in the States.
His career in the game began as a caddie at a course in Atlanta called Bear's Best, where he worked his way up to become the head professional after gaining his PGA qualification.
He was then promoted to the post of director of golf at River Head Creek just outside Washington DC and was perfectly happy there until he started to pine for home.
"I enjoyed it in the States but had been thinking about coming home when a friend sent me the posting for the position with Edinburgh Leisure and I thought it was really interesting so I applied for it," he said.
"People here keep asking me why I've moved from the States back to Scotland but, on the other hand, when I talked to members over there before I left they said, 'wow you are going to Edinburgh to manage six courses – that is a no brainer'."
While acknowledging Edinburgh Leisure's main objective is to "serve the people of the city", Grimwade insists there is scope to attract more visitors and believes the Braids in particular would prove a big hit with Americans.
"There's capacity for more rounds at the Braids, which I think is a great golf course with a great variety of holes – you have to hit so many different shots up here," he added.
"I've got friends coming over from the States and have told them not to be fooled by the fact it's 5,800 yards as it is a good test of golf and certainly different to anything they'll play in the States – there is just nothing like it.
"I managed to increase revenue at the two courses I worked at in America and I've looked at what Ayrshire do, for instance, in terms of marketing for Ayr Belleisle (a municipal course], so that's one of the areas I'll be looking at.
"Private clubs are dipping into the pay and play market, so there's a bit of competition there for us, but our courses provide good value."



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google