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Just over two years after the clubhouse at the world famous Machrihanish Golf Club burnt to the ground in a devastating fire, a new £2.5 million building has risen from the ashes.
On December 19 2018, the world stood aghast as the historic building and some of the club’s prized possessions and memorabilia were completely destroyed by fire.
The keys for the new building, designed by G1 Architects and built by Kintyre firm McKinven and Colville, which stands on the same site, were officially handed over to the club on Monday.
As well as offering a range of state-of-the-art facilities to golfers and non-golfers, the clubhouse offers hope and a bright future to the community in the form of several new jobs – many of which have already been filled – and a vibrant visitor attraction.
It also provides an opportunity, once Covid restrictions are lifted, for the club to bounce back in the most spectacular fashion from the devastation of the fire and the impact of Covid-19 on golf and the club in general.
The clubhouse has been designed with spectacular views at its core – there are panoramic views through the tall glass window frontage upstairs, where members and visitors can enjoy the modern bar and catering facilities overlooking the famous first tee down below.
Downstairs is the working hub of the club – home of the official administrative area and committee meeting room; the trophy cabinet filled with historic trophies rescued by staff and members before the 2018 fire took hold; the club champions’ boards; and the gents’, ladies’ and junior locker rooms – for the first time all under the one roof.
The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the new £30,000 swing room on the ground floor.
It is fitted with the latest TrackMan technology to trace ball flight and swing speed statistics.
This can be used as an indoor practise area for members, by the golf club professional to take individual coaching sessions, or to take group coaching of the club’s junior golfers. It also offers golfers a virtual golf simulator where they will be able to play some of the best courses in the world.
In line with the focus on reducing the club’s carbon footprint and the ambition to become more environmentally friendly, the new clubhouse boasts the latest air source heating technology providing the most efficient renewable heating.
Aligned to this bright future, the number of junior members at the golf club continues to boom despite the recent lack of clubhouse facilities – there are now 90 members under the age of 18, making up 10 per cent of the total membership.
Club captain William Livingston said: ‘This truly is a momentous moment in the club’s history. The design by G1 Architects has always stimulated the imagination and it coming to life has been truly inspiring.
‘The club would like to thank Roy Malcolm and the design team at G1 Architects for delivering this outstanding building.
‘The skill and workmanship of Barry Colville and his team in building this magnificent asset has been outstanding, particularly with all of the challenges laid out on a construction site during the global pandemic.
‘They have worked tirelessly to bring the project to completion in such a short timescale and we want to pass on our sincere gratitude to them for the wonderful job they have done.
‘I’d like to thank the club’s staff and the committee who, over the last two years, have worked incredibly hard to support the project over and above undertaking their normal club duties.
‘The club looks forward to welcoming all members, visitors and guests alike to share in this wonderful new facility just as soon as the Scottish Government advises us that it is safe to do so.’
Barry Colville, managing director of McKinven and Colville Ltd, said: ‘Firstly, I’d like to express how incredibly proud I am of both our staff team and our sub-contractors for providing the endless expertise, dedication and commitment they have shown in bringing this magnificent project from design to completion.
‘This is particularly rewarding for us as a company, especially to do so within the challenging times that we have all had to encounter over the past year.
‘I’d also like to thank the project’s design team, Roy and the rest of the G1 staff team, for their spectacular design and support throughout the project.
‘Finally, I’d like to thank the Machrihanish Golf Club committee for having the faith in awarding this contract to McKinven and Colville Ltd.
‘We very much look forward to the club opening its doors to all the members in the near future, allowing us all to enjoy this new, 21st century building, which I believe, will be an envy of many golf clubs throughout the country.’