Former Goldman Sachs economics guru Gavyn Davies and his wife Sue Nye, who was director of government relations under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have bought the Machrie golf course and hotel on the island of Islay.
Machrie had been in bankruptcy protection since the start of the year. Industry sources told GCA the purchase price was in the region of £2 million. As well as the golf course, originally designed in 1891 by Willie Campbell, the facility includes the 16 bedroom Machrie Hotel, fifteen lodges and bar/restaurant facilities.
The property will be managed by G3k, the company set up by veteran Scottish golf industry figure Stewart Smith. Smith, a professional golfer for 28 years, recently held posts during the development of the Carrick course at Cameron House on Loch Lomond and the Renaissance Club at Archerfield in East Lothian.
Smith said: “It is a privilege to be charged with the development of the Machrie. The new owners recognise that Machrie is an important part of Scotland’s golfing heritage, and is crucial to Islay’s economy. They intend to preserve the historic appeal of this great links course, while renovating the hotel and clubhouse buildings. It will become one of Scotland’s prime golfing destinations.”
Norman MacDonald, captain of Islay Golf Club, which plays over the course, said: “After initial talks with the new owners, I am confident that the future of Islay Golf Club is in safe hands.”