Want to buy a remote Scotland resort? Historic Machrie Hotel & Golf Links for sale
U.K. news outlets are reporting that Machrie Hotel and Golf Links, on the Hebridan Island of Islay, has been put under “administration” and is currently looking for a new owner. The reports say 15 of 18 employees have been laid off, so it appears that KPMG, assumed with the task of selling the asset, are going to a bare bones operation for now.
Golfers who like their whisky in Scotland especially like visiting Machrie for the many distilleries on Islay. I called the hotel Thursday to find out what this means for golf travelers in 2011 thinking about making the voyage over.
I received an email back from management who said the following:
The golf course is remaining open and we are taking bookings for tee times. Simon Freeman , the Head Greenkeeper, is working flat out to keep the course in as good a condition as is humanly possible.
With regard to the hotel, the administrators ( KPMG ) are hoping for a quick sale in which case hopefully we will be back trading fairly soon.This however does mean that although we are taking provisional bookings nothing can as yet be confirmed.
2011 isn’t necessarily the time for a Scotland course and hotel to go into the dark. Bookings are looking strong from St. Andrews to East Lothian. Tour operator Sam Baker of Haversham & Baker Golfing Expeditions also tells me through Twitter they are sending more private clubs to Scotland this year than any since 2007.
It’s tough to believe Machrie’s course will be in showroom shape in 2011 with just three employees for the whole property, but as Baker notes, “A rugged old links like Machrie doesn’t really need much ‘conditioning’ other than the greens. That’s the beauty of links golf.” East Lothian’s Allan Minto also says he visited last year and was told by a member that they weren’t happy with the course and hotel’s condition at the time.
“He certainly gave the impression locals would welcome a change of ownership,” said Minto.
Here’s hoping Machrie, founded in 1891, can survive the transition and live to see brighter days. We know The Donald loves Scotland links, so maybe he’s interested in adding to his UK portfolio (as long as there are no wind farms planned).
If you want to know a little more about remote Machrie, click here for a feature from 2005 on Machrihanish and Machrie by Andrew Penner.
|« New Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program is one step closer to winning me back||A chilly golf travel alternative: The Ice Tee Tournament on Lake Wallenpaupack near New York »|