Crypto golf community wins bid to buy historic Scottish club

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 10, 2023 08:43

An online community that raised more than $11 million in cryptocurrency in one day last year has had its bid to buy a 116-year-old Scottish golf club accepted.

Earlier this year Spey Bay Golf Club in north-east Scotland was put up for sale with a guide price for offers in excess of £750,000.

Then, LinksDAO, a ‘decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO)’, said it will make an offer for the 18-hole club.

The organisation has now said it has purchased the club although its CEO, Jim Daily, has stated that the bid is undergoing its ‘due diligence’ phase before it officially puts pen to paper.

Shortly after setting itself up, in late 2021 LinksDAO put up for sale 9,090 ‘non-fungible tokens’ (NFTs) for one of two forms of membership, and every one sold in just a few hours. Bought using cryptocurrency on the ethereum network, the amount raised was worth just under $12 million.

The organisation, which describes itself as ‘a global community of golf enthusiasts in web3 reimagining the modern golf and leisure club’, has said it plans to purchase golf clubs around the world.

It has bought Spey Bay following a landslide community vote in favour of the purchase.

Spey Bay Golf Club

Nearly 90 percent of the 953 respondents voted in favour of submitting an offer to purchase the 18-hole property.

“A primary goal of LinksDAO from the outset has been to purchase an extremely high-quality golf course for our members to call their own – shaping the course and club culture with the direction of the DAO, and creating the future of a golf and leisure club in the process,” the proposal’s authors wrote.

LinksDAO NFT holders have access to several golf courses in the US as part of their membership, but Spey Bay Golf Club could be the first property the organisation has purchased through its governance voting process. The proposal’s authors say the organisation is reviewing more than 30 properties for purchase, with five prospective purchases in the later stage of the due diligence process.

“A cash outlay of this size would not significantly affect our remaining course purchase budget, and in fact would not change our ability to purchase any of the four U. course options that we are deepest in diligence on,” the authors added.

Spey Bay is located on the Moray coastline at the mouth of the River Spey. Designed by Ben Sayers, the club opened in 1907. Ramsay Macdonald, who was British prime minister twice in the 1920s and 1930s, was a member.

This is almost certainly the first golf club in the UK to be owned by an organisation funded via cryptocurrency. It’s not yet clear how or if the management of the club would change, although it’s been reported that its plan is to “take what is essentially a holiday course played primarily by a local membership and make it into a destination not only for the LinksDAO membership but also for serious golfers heading from Cruden Bay to Nairn and Castle Stuart, or Royal Dornoch, Golspie and Brora.” The crypto-firm is also said to be seeking advice from a number of architects to remodel the course.

One benefit of LinksDAO membership is the right to buy memberships at clubs it owns.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 10, 2023 08:43
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  1. Ricky March 28, 20:31

    What a fantastic course and great that it’s going to see some investment – regardless of where it’s coming from.

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