One of the first golf club to express fears that it ‘might not exist’ beyond the COVID-19 closure of courses in the UK, the people at Brora way up on the north coast of Scotland got busy and created a dedicated campaign across various platforms which has attracted a huge response from around the world.
The course was designed by James Braid and is quite a special place for visitors from around the world. They took to social media to raise a six-figure sum through new membership categories, advance tee time bookings, merchandise sales via PGA pro Malcolm Murray’s well-stocked online shop and website donations. A core four-person team has spread the word to highlight Brora’s beauty through social media posts and email bulletins.
They got great support and even Tom Watson, an honorary member, tweeted his support, with social media influencers No Laying Up donating money through an exclusive towel sale. Given Brora only boasts a small number of local members in a remote part of Scotland, imaginative new membership categories such as Lifetime Membership, The Tern Club and Platinum Membership have drawn new members from across the globe.
Amazingly seven golfers have paid £10,000 each for the unique Platinum Membership which has helped the club sit in a far healthier financial position going forward.
General manager Tony Gill, has been dealing with a flood of emails about memberships and various offers of support. The club has done a great job on social media to spread the word to a growing audience.
Brora – which was founded in 1891 and was a favourite of another five-time Open winner Peter Thomson – has being growing steadily in recent years, investing in staff and the golf course itself. The money raised should now see them through this year without having to borrow any funds, while they are hopeful of running their 5 Day Open later this year if domestic travel is permitted.
Stewart, who has seen the club add over 80 new members and generate 500 online Pro Shop sales, added: “It’s almost like the world now understands what we have here at Brora and people realised we have a club worth saving. We offer our thanks to all who have supported us and look forward to seeing members and visitors enjoying Brora again in the weeks and months ahead.”