Hospitality firm takes over the running of Scottish golf club

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 13, 2023 10:13

A hospitality firm that took over a golf club’s bar and restaurant earlier this year now operates the entire club and has pledged to invest in it.

Aberdeen-base OGV Taproom took on Newburgh-on-Ythan Golf Club’s bar and restaurant earlier this year. This followed a successful crowdfunding exercise in 2022 that was driven by the club struggling to pay its bills.

However, more recently, the club announced it only had a few more days left in which it could meet its financial obligations.

The managing director of OGV Taproom, Kenny Dooley, has confirmed that his company has now taken over the running of the whole golf club.

He has also revealed plans to spend a six-figure sum over the next 16 months to upgrade both the course and clubhouse.

Newburgh-on-Ythan Golf Club

He said: “We had previously supported the club with some revenue in July and August, and we put a proposal together for the club committee and captain to look at us taking over the entire club.

“From my side, if the club did close, then obviously our Taproom bar and restaurant closes and I’d have to let go of staff.

“We were looking at more job security initially and making sure the club survived.

“Then we found out more about the club and the opportunities there to drive it.”

Since taking over the club, which was formed in 1888, a third greenkeeper has been added and a new budget has been agreed with the course manager.

There is also a job vacancy for a venue manager.

Newburgh-on-Ythan Golf Club

Dooley added: “We employed a third greenkeeper because the club lacked the resources and money to fund and improve the course.

“We managed to convince the course manager to stay and have given him more resources and a plan for the remainder of this year and next for improvements to the course.

“With that, we’ll be improving the clubhouse by removing the existing bathrooms and changing rooms and installing new ones.

“We would like to get the course up and running. Once we have a venue manager and a plan rolled out over the winter we’ll see how we can scale up for next year.

“It’s in a good location between Trump and Cruden Bay, with a great run of golf courses surrounding it. Newburgh has been missed off that list up until this point.

“If we can ensure the course itself is improving, I think we can encourage a lot more visitors and corporate members.

“I also think Newburgh is growing, with restaurants doing well and there’s a lot of new housing.

“It’s grown from a little village, with a lot of opportunities and huge potential.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 13, 2023 10:13
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1 Comment

  1. Kiran September 25, 10:30

    Would love to know their plans for the future to turn the club around.

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