Sponsored feature: Changing the changing rooms at Alloa GC

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu September 30, 2017 21:44 Updated

The historic Scottish golf club is one of the first to adopt Ready Golf to tackle slow play and has invested in a stunning new changing room.

Alloa Golf Club in central Scotland to the north of Edinburgh has a long and distinguished history yet it can be hardly accused of being stuck in the Dark Ages.

This year it has upgraded the men’s changing rooms, employing industry leader Craftsman Lockers, which used its wealth of knowledge to design and supply a locker room fit to carry the club forward for many years to come.

Craftsman was able to maximise the available space to satisfy the needs of the club and by using solid oak doors keep the traditional look and feel that was required.

A mixture of double and single height golf lockers along with open wardrobes were used to maximise the available space and the use of solid oak doors, oak wall panelling and carpet covered bench seating works to provide a usable and pleasing environment for members and visitors alike.

The club has also been one of the first clubs in the UK to introduce the concept of Ready Golf.

The concept, launched in The R&A’s Pace of Play manual earlier this year, is a recommended solution for tackling slow play by enabling golfers to play when they are ready to do so rather than strictly adhere to ‘the farthest from the hole plays first’ requirement.

It is an idea that all club managers would do well to investigate, particularly if they are plagued with slow play.

The R&A has introduced Ready Golf at its 2017 amateur championships as part of its efforts to improve pace of play and suggests clubs follow suit.

The practice can be used in stroke play only and includes a number of actions that can help to improve the flow of golfers around the course and reduce the time taken by players to complete a round.

Examples of Ready Golf include hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play, playing a shot before helping someone look for a ball and adopting continuous putting when possible. Other suggestions include allowing shorter hitters to play first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait, playing a shot if a person who has just recovered from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the holes but is delayed due to raking the bunker and marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development, at The R&A, said: “We support solutions that address the issue of slow play and Ready Golf is an effective means of reducing the time it takes to complete a round.

“Our research has shown that golfers would enjoy the sport more if it took less time to play and so we are introducing Ready Golf during the stroke play rounds at our amateur championships to help improve pace of play and the experience for the players and spectators.”

Founded in 1891, Alloa GC is set in the rolling grounds of Schawpark House, an estate that dates back to the days of one of Scotland’s most famous regal figures, Robert the Bruce.

In 1321, as ‘The King of the Scots’, he granted the lands of Sauchie to the sheriff of Clackmannan, Henry de Annand.

Over the centuries the land was owned by a succession of rich and influential noblemen including the Schaw’s, who built a mansion at Schawpark, the site of the club and course today. The house was eventually demolished in 1961 but the club’s antecedents are not forgotten.

Alloa’s current course dates back to 1935, designed by the legendary golf architect, James Braid, in 150 acres of rolling parkland beneath the Ochil Hills.

The 6,200 yard par 71 course, with its mature tree lined fairways, is regarded as a challenge for the best golfers whilst offering great enjoyment to the average player.

The course and the club facilities are much admired by members and visitors alike, as professional golf writers and entries on TripAdvisor testify.

Today’s Golfer writes: “This parkland golf course is accessible to all golfers and with a tough closing finish, is no pushover. The tree-lined fairways put an emphasis on accuracy and any wayward balls will be punished. Two long par threes and a long par four means this courses requires power and finesse to secure a good score.”

Meanwhile a visitor from San Francisco this year praised the entire set up, including the new lockers installed by Craftsman. He wrote: “Alloa is small but exceptionally well run. The clubhouse is clean, tidy and modern. The locker rooms have just been upgraded and are looking really good. Toilet and shower areas are modern and clean. The course itself is parkland. It is well tended and presents a good challenge. It is obvious that the course has had a lot of work done on it and its greens’ staff and greens’ committee should be very proud of what they have achieved. Greens are excellent and run true. Great course for a game of golf, 19th hole is well worth a visit.”

Craftsman, which has been at the top of the changing room design sector for generations, is now part of the Ice Locker Group, trading as Craftsman Lockers

 

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu September 30, 2017 21:44 Updated
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