One of the most famous 19th holes for golfers – the Dunvegan in St Andrews – has officially gone on the market today (Monday) for just under £3 million.
Over the last 23 years owners Jack and Sheena Willoughby have built up the hotel, just 100 yards from the 18th on the Old Course, to become the place for golfers from the world over to gather after their game.
Making the decision to sell has been an emotional one for the couple but they felt the timing was right to look to the future.
When Sheena tweeted on Sunday night that it was “time to smell the roses”, she knew she knew there would be a spark of interest but she was taken aback at the response, with social media and golf news outlets picking up the story across the globe.
“It’s been unbelievable,” she said.
A big attraction of the Dunvegan is the famed friendly welcome for golfers, whether you are an A-list celebrity like Clint Eastwood, top pro such as Tiger Woods, or Joe Bloggs fulfilling a bucket-list ambition to play in St Andrews.
“Every one of our customers has a story to tell about why they are here in St Andrews,” said Sheena.
Both avid golfers, the couple gave up good jobs in Aberdeen back in 1994 to “roll the dice” and take a chance on the Dunvegan.
A dyed in the wool Texan, Jack was a draw for visiting American caddies and when the Open came to St Andrews in 1995, the pros brought by their caddies to the Dunvegan included Fred Couples and Curtis Strange.
“It’s a unique business because of its location and its clientele,” Sheena said.
“We’ve had people showing interest in wanting to buy over the years but we were never ready to sell.
“We’re not in any rush now but we’re at the position where we want to have time, if we want, to head off for a few days and play golf ourselves.”
Having bought a flat in the town a few years ago, Sheena said they would not be leaving St Andrews but would have the freedom to travel, especially back to Jack’s native Texas.
In addition to Jack and Sheena as hands-on owners, the Dunvegan has four full-time staff and seasonal workers.