SRUC Elmwood Boost Faroe Islands Hopes of Hosting Islands Games

Published Wednesday, 7th November 2012 in Campuses & Offices news

Faroe Islands Golf

Experts from SRUC’s Elmwood Campus have been meeting Faroe islanders and doing their bit for the international sporting events business

For island communities hosting the biennial Nat West Islands Games is as big an ambition as bidding for the Olympics or Commonwealth gatherings. The Faroes are bidding to host the Games in 2019 but to succeed must upgrade their 18 hole golf course.

There are 24 islands in the International Island Games Association, from Aland in the Baltic to Bermuda, Greenland and Menorca. Many of the UK’s best known destinations are include as are Rhodes and even the Falklands. Golf is one of 18 sports included in the programme.

The delegation visiting Elmwood came from the Faroese Government and the Kommuna or Council of Torshavn, the island capital. The Faroes lie northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway with 18 islands covering 545.3 sq. miles. The population is about forty eight and a half thousand with twenty thousand living around the capital.

The existing 9 hole course in Torshavn could be best described as challenging. There are no bunkers, because the whole course is a hazard! Protruding rocks, boulder strewn with peat bogs and sink holes to choose from. The first fairway has now been grassed with turf from their national football stadium and the greens are grassed as well but they are all stamp sized.

The visitors had heard of Elmwood’s expertise in golf education and a chance meeting between the former Elmwood Principal, Jim Crooks and some Faroese golfers led to a presentation to the Torshavnar Kommuna whilst Jim was on holiday in Faroe in July 2012.  This resulted in the Faroese delegation’s trip to Fife and meetings with key individuals in the Golfing world, for advice how the Faroese project could be supported.

The visit resulted in a very firm commitment from organisations including the R&A, the Links Trust and SRUC Elmwood Campus, but especially Elmwood’s Director of International Golf and Student Services Carol Borthwick, to help realise the dream of a golf course on Faroe that will draw tourists and players alike.

Jim Crooks said:

“The opportunity provided by the Faroese Government and the Torshavnar Kommuna could only have arisen because of Elmwood’s global reputation in golf education. Goodwill and reputation needs to be cherished and the support that we have had from industry partners demonstrates that ‘Elmwood’ is a name that enlists support and leads to development opportunities. I am proud to be associated with this reputation won by the colleagues who have worked so hard to develop this reputation for excellence."

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