Royal and Ancient Golf Club Announces Renovation Plans

From Staff Reports

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (Oct. 11, 2001) - For avid golfers and golf historians, it may be the most recognizable symbol in the game. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club's clubhouse sits behind the first and the 18th holes at the Old Course in St. Andrew like guardian of one of the world's oldest and most noble pursuits.

The Royal and Ancient announced Monday that the interior and approaches of the clubhouse will undergo a major renovation in the upcoming months.

"For several years the club has been considering improvements and adjustments to the basement to create a separate access and new entrance to the locker rooms," said R&A projects secretary Lachlan McIntosh. "This will create a long overdue upgrading and will match the rising expectations of our membership. "

The Royal and Ancient membership is one of the most exclusive in the golfing world, and the majority of the thousands of visitors to the Old and New Courses each year never set foot within its hallowed halls. Refurbishment plans also include provisions to build a members' shop and additional facilities on the ground floor together with staff changing, dining and rest room facilities.

Brian Gowdy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Europe Golf Travel, says that the renovation should have little or no effect on outside play.

"For one, the season is winding down," Gowdy says. "And, it will affect the R and A members only, and that is a very small number of folks. If they were redoing the clubhouse open to the public over by the first hole of the New Course, that would impact outside play. "

While the renovation of the R and A's Clubhouse will fall on blind eyes when it comes to most visitors to the historic facility, alterations to such a historic edifice are bound to cause some curiosity.