New golfing venture in Uist

A new Uist-based venture is promoting golf packages throughout the Western Isles with “bespoke” options for visitors from around the world.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 2:59 pm
Gary Young in Askernish clubhouse with Old Tom Morris in background

Hebridean Golf Tours.com has just gone live and is attracting a steady flow of interest and bookings – though the man behind it, Gary Young, says there is still a lot of caution around as far as this year is concerned.

Gary is working with the five courses in the islands – Stornoway, Scarista, Benbecula, Askernish and Barra – to match the expectations and interests of each party.

The five courses cover a vast range of golf experiences. However, it is the prospect of travelling to – and then within – the Outer Hebrides to play golf that is attracting interest in the international market.

Gary is working from Askernish in South Uist where he also looks after the clubhouse shop and facilities.

Clearly, the Old Tom Morris course has the greatest marketing potential and has achieved massive publicity through golf publications.

However, it is still much less visited than its reputation would suggest.

Gary believes much of this is down to the logistics of travel and his company is offering the service of making all these arrangements.

Originally from Milngavie, Gary worked as a television director in Qatar for the past seven years with the sports channel beIN which produces the Andy Gray and Richard Keys football programme and live international sports coverage.

His wife Donna is from Petersport, Benbecula, and with two young children, they decided earlier this year to exchange the heat of Qatar for the more uncertain climate of Uist. Gary continues to do some TV work from his Uist base.

Hebridean Golf Tours is involving other businesses in the islands to offer a complete package to visitors which includes accommodation and other options from paddle-boarding to distillery tours.

Despite the five courses being relatively close together, they offer very different playing experiences: from the “Holy Grail” of links play at Askernish, to the lush fairways and trees of Stornoway, to the spectacular beaches of Harris and the smaller nine-hole offerings at Benbecula and Barra, where one of the hazards include grazing livestock.