This Scottish course is being updated for the first time in 40 years
Posted on Tuesday, 12th April 2016
For the first time in over 40 years, Moray GC has engaged a golf course architect to help develop a blueprint for the future of its celebrated golf courses.
The decision to commission an audit of the club's two 18-hole courses continues a precedent established at the renowned club of working with golf's finest designers.
Swan Golf Designs will be the latest name to join prestigious course architects, including Old Tom Morris and three times Open champion Henry Cotton.
Moray captain John Thomson said: "Moray has been associated with a number of legendary names in golf course architecture.
When the decision was made to create a master plan that would enhance the already great holes we have at Moray, it was important to continue that precedent. That's why we called on Swan Golf Designs."
Coincidentally, Thomson's father, Farquhar, assisted Henry Cotton during the initial design-and-build phase of the second 18-hole course at Moray. His central role was recognised when he was asked to hit the inaugural tee shot to open the New Course in 1979.
Swan Golf Designs was borne out of the successful collaboration between consultant course engineer Alex Swan and Henry Cotton. The duo worked with Thomson's father on Moray's New Course development during the 1970s. Today, the business thrives under the stewardship of Alex's son Howard and grandson William.
"I am delighted to be going back as a second generation Swan," said Howard. "It is great to be going back to represent the old man and to continue the family tradition. I had the good fortune of working with my dad for 20 years before he died in 1984, so it is always nice to go back to a club where he has worked. It is quite emotional to think the old boy was here before me."
Howard added that he was excited about the prospect of working at Moray, where the original course was laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1889, during his stewardship at St Andrews.
John said: "This is a hugely important step for Moray and for the development of the New Course in particular as it approaches its 40th anniversary in 2019. Moray is a special place, especially for lovers of traditional links golf. We want to make our courses relevant and challenging now and in the future.
"The benefits of this project are many fold, including developing a courses policy document, the planning of a work schedule and the forward planning of budgets for the next few years. That is the basis on which we set out on this journey and with the invaluable input of Swan Golf Designs we intend to complete it with carefully-considered improvements that will enhance, rather than alter, the courses at Moray.