Well, what a year 2020 has been so far for us all! We certainly didn’t envision some of the conditions that we have had to work under when we took on the business at the end of 2019, but we have had to adapt like everyone else and we hope that everyone appreciates the challenges that we face on a daily basis. That said, we have invested heavily throughout the year and we will continue to do so with some major projects set to commence over the upcoming weeks and months, which we hope will take Braes Golf Centre to the next level. Below is an outline of what’s to come…
First and foremost, we are delighted to welcome David Knapp, PGA Professional, to the team at Braes. David brings with him a wealth of experience in a variety of areas which we will be leaning on heavily for our impending projects. Born and raised in Kilmarnock, David became a fully qualified PGA Professional in 2007. Since then, he has achieved many notable accolades including a Diploma in Golf Course Management and Design. One of his areas of expertise is golf retail having managed several successful American Golf stores over the last 19 years and having been heavily involved with the opening of 24 new American Golf sites, including driving ranges, across the UK and Ireland. This will come in very handy for what we have planned…
David’s skills are not limited to retail however as he also specialises in coaching and player development, custom fitting, club repairs and building relationships between members and brands. He is incredibly excited about joining our ambitious team and can’t wait to help us to become the number one destination in central Scotland for golf equipment, custom fitting and lessons.
So now that we have introduced you to David, you are probably wondering where he and his team will be based?!
We are delighted to announce that work will very shortly commence on a new Braes Golf Centre store which will stock some of the finest equipment manufacturers and clothing brands. The long-term plan is to build a new, 2000 sq. ft store, however this is subject to planning permission and is likely to be well in to 2021 before anything happens with that. In the short-term, we will be converting an area of our downstairs clubhouse in to an 800 sq. ft shop which has an estimated completion date of November/December. The store will be managed by David and we have already built relationships with some of the top manufacturers to stock their product lines, so you can expect to see work beginning very soon on this exciting project!
In the meantime if you would like to contact David regarding any equipment enquiries or club repair you can email him at David@braesgolf.co.uk
Next up, we are incredibly excited to reveal that we will be building a 20 bay driving range on site with work set to commence next week. To begin with, this will be an open range as we go through the process of planning, however in time this will become a fully covered range with custom fit teaching studio for David to run his lessons from. In order to make space for the range, this project will require some course design and layout changes which we will reveal in due course so we ask everyone to remain patient and respect any changes that we implement in the coming weeks.
Finally, probably the worst kept secret at the Braes! We have already started work at the top of the course to turn what was previous disused land in to a Par 3 course. This will be aimed not only at beginners and juniors, but also for anyone looking to sharpen up their short game. The layout provides a great opportunity to play shots of varying lengths, from 65 to 116 yards, in a challenging but fair landscape.
There will be a number of hazards to negotiate including water features, bunkers, rocks and indigenous, Scottish plants, trees and shrubbery! Treat the new course with the utmost respect!
We estimate that the Par 3 course will be playable from Spring/Early Summer 2021 but again, we will keep you updated on these developments.
In addition to the ‘New’ Course, we are building 3 new holes as part of the redesigned ‘old’ Course. These comprise a cheeky wee ‘risk and reward’ par 4 (teeing off from the right of the current 8th green), a new par 3 which will be pleasing to the eye yet far from being a ‘gimme’, and a challenging 444 yard par 4 (from the very back tee), requiring a wee fade, a gentle draw, and a steady nerve. You will love this hole…at least until you have to add up your score! 4 different tees, 3 different ditches, 2 water hazards, and 1 set of cahoonas (required)!
We couldn’t have got to where we are without the support of our members and visitors and for that we thank you all. As outlined above, there will be some unsettled periods in terms of construction and maintenance, however we will make sure to put plans in place to ensure both the safety and enjoyment of our members and visitors over the autumn and winter months. We are of course reliant on the Scottish weather playing ball, so we would appreciate your full patience and cooperation during these times as we strive to make Braes Golf Centre a top destination for both golfers and non-golfers alike!
The Braes Golf Centre Team