St Andrews Links Trust prices freeze is just the ticket

Alasdair McDougall pictured with Peter Forster (left), chairman of St Andrews Links Trust, and chief executive Euan Loudon.
Alasdair McDougall pictured with Peter Forster (left), chairman of St Andrews Links Trust, and chief executive Euan Loudon.

St Andrews Links Trust has announced ticket prices for next year and chief executive Euan Loudon has emphasised that meeting the needs of golfers has been the number one priority.

Ticket prices will be frozen in 2012 and extra tickets are being released to meet some of the demand on the waiting list.

The list will remain closed for now but it is hoped that issuing an additional 130 tickets will reduce the numbers.

Other changes include the introduction of guest points on all courses for north east Fife and ordinary ticket holders, a temporary competition ticket for golfers on the waiting list - allowing them to play in some local competitions - and local preferential tee times on the Eden course.

A new five-day option has been introduced in all categories with no age restriction, meaning senior tickets will be discontinued.

Junior and student categories remain unchanged.

The new structure is being introduced following a six month review of yearly tickets. During that time Mr Loudon visited every local golf club twice to speak to members about their experiences of using the courses managed by the trust and how the system might be improved.

And speaking to the Citizen this week, Mr Loudon said that feedback from golfers and not maximising revenue was the motivation for the changes.

“‘‘I wanted to take a fresh look at prices and the concerns of the local ticket holders,” he explained.

“The whole process started back in April and recently I was able to present my recommendations to the trustees and, in the main, they agreed with them.

“I wanted to know the views of local as well as visiting golfers, the people on the waiting list and the people who can’t get tickets.

“So I tried to find out what the aspirations were and see how far we could go to meeting them. Nothing has been done with the intention of increasing revenue.

“In the end I came up with nine recommendations, eight of which are now being implemented and the ninth is pending.

“Eventually we want to take it to the next level and look at the question of reopening the waiting list and seeing if we can speed up the turnaround of getting on the list and getting a ticket.”

The Trust wrote to Ticket holders this week to inform them of the changes.