The revival of East Kilbride Golf Club after a fire

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams December 31, 2011 15:59

The revival of East Kilbride Golf Club after a fire

This is a tale of turning disaster into triumph for East Kilbride Golf Club after its clubhouse was burned to the ground. Reinvestment in fine facilities has helped spark an upsurge in visitor interest and member numbers, the club reports.

In January 2010, the 1950s clubhouse fell victim to a blaze that destroyed a major part of the interior, which housed many of the club’s facilities and attractions, including a restaurant, a bar, function rooms and changing facilities.

Leaving little more than a shell, the fire took with it memories and memorabilia gathered over the 111 years since the club, sited 10 miles east of Glasgow, was founded in 1900.

Despite the calamity, the cause of which was never discovered, the club’s council chose to view the setback as an opportunity to start afresh and create a new £2m facility truly fitting for the 21st century – one that has served as the spur for renewed successes.

East Kilbride’s mature, parkland course sits on the edge of the south Lanarkshire town and is the only private club inScotland’s first ‘new town’. Since the move to the current Nerston site in the late 1960s, the once young, immature course has blossomed into a challenging test for the club’s swelling membership, which stands at a buoyant 900 with a strong lady and junior following.

The tree-lined fairways have long been a big draw for local golfers, providing some tough and diverse holes. However since the completion of the clubhouse, East Kilbride has witnessed a swathe of new members joining the ranks, tempted by some impressive new additions to its offering.

The new clubhouse sits on the site of the former building but to a design that better exploits the club’s topographical merits. The long frontage accommodates the main social areas, including a spike bar, two lounges and a dining room, allowing members and visitors to enjoy panoramic views over the course and beyond to the Clyde Valley to the east, while alongside are positioned a comprehensive changing area, wash facilities and two offices.

The club acted swiftly after the fire to set in motion the new project – forming a new-build group that drew up plans for a high quality, modern and ambitious replacement. “We wanted to make the best of the situation we were in,” explained Donald Burns, project co-ordinator for the build team, “so felt it was a great opportunity for us to create a new building that would be a huge asset to us and our members. An important facet of this desire to deliver a high-end specification was to source the right builders and contractors, who would be able to build to the level of quality we wanted to achieve.”

Campbell Construction Group (CCG) won the tender to build the clubhouse, with McLean Architects of Glasgow drafted in to draw up designs. The final design team was appointed by late February 2010 and soon set to work on the task in hand. The new-build group arranged a temporary facility with a bar, catering and changing area, which allowed members an adequate social space while works were underway.

The project began at the end of November and was completed in August 2011 ready for an early autumn occupation.

The elegance of the new clubhouse provision, with its energy-conserving movement activated PIR lighting system, is a far cry from that on offer for members in the old clubhouse, said Burns, which was dominated by “outdated and impractical” laminated MDF lockers.

The final piece of the jigsaw will be put in place once the trophies and awards, which document the club’s history, are returned, and can take pride of place in their new home.

The final word must go to Donald Burns, who swelled with pride when he said: “Remembering the trauma and upheaval of the immediate aftermath of the fire, our captain Tom Keir and all of us on the club council are delighted with the result and are thrilled with having a new, high-quality clubhouse that will provide a magnificent backdrop and facilities to a course long since been recognised as one of the finest in Lanarkshire.”

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams December 31, 2011 15:59
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