Director of golf Alan Tait is excited about being part of a team that is set to put “our own stamp on Dalmahoy”.
The Kirknewton venue is no longer part of the Marriott chain after its owners, Abu Dubai Investment Authority (ADIA), amicably severed that lengthy link at the beginning of last month.
“Although there was a little uncertainty in the beginning when we were first told about it, I firmly believe it will be a great thing for Dalmahoy to now be independent,” said Tait.
“Although Marriott were fantastic to work for, you always had to keep within the Marriott brand standards and parameters, which at times could be slightly frustrating.
“Myself and my fellow managers are excited about being able to put our own stamp on Dalmahoy, which is a fantastic place to work, as I’m reminded most mornings when I drive in that beautiful driveway that leads to the hotel.”
Its East Course has hosted many prestigious events over the years, including the 1992 Solheim Cup, the first match in that biennial contest to be held on this side of the Atlantic.
The Scottish PGA Championship and the Scottish Senior Open were both staged multiple times there as well while it was back in the spotlight last week as host for the Scottish Amateur Area Team Championship.
“We invested heavily in drainage three years ago and we continue to purchase the best machinery for the golf courses,” added Tait, who is now into his eighth year as director of golf and has no intention of moving anywhere else in the foreseeable future.
“We had a tough time a few years ago and both courses were struggling. The East and West, however, have been in fantastic condition the last two years and the feedback we have been getting from both members and visitors alike, has been extremely satisfying.”
As has a golfing success Tait, who presents the weekly Scottish Golf Radio as well as being an accomplished after-dinner speaker, enjoyed last week as he qualified for the 100th staging of the Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles next month.
“It’s the first time I will have played in the SPGA in 14 years due to work commitments and the only reasons I entered on this occasion was because it was the 100th staging. I wanted to show my support to the PGA in Scotland,” said Tait.
“Now I’m really looking forward to heading to Gleneagles, one of my favourite places in the world. If you can’t enjoy a few days around The Kings Course, then there’s something far wrong.”
Exactly 30 years after they fought out a Scottish Boys’ final at Dunbar, Tait admitted he’d been “inspired” by seeing Euan McIntosh make a spectacular impact on the amateur game this season by securing an international recall then winning the Scottish Order of Merit.
“Euan more or less gave up golf and returned this year to dominate the amateur scene,” said Tait, who came out on top in that contest in East Lothian. “Both 47, I think with a bit of hard work and commitment, we are looking three years ahead to the Seniors Tour. But neither of us will admit this!”