The World’s first 18 hole course from inception & inauguration Designed by Tom Morris, 1871
Historic first forges new links for Forfar golf club
Forfar Golf Club has confirmed it has engaged the services one of Scotland’s premier sport and leisure marketing agencies. As the fourth oldest 18-hole golf course in the world, this is the first time the club has brought in an agency to handle its promotional strategy marking a step-change in its 148-year history.
The agreement between Forfar Golf Club and The Word Association marks the start of initial preparatory stages for the club’s 150th anniversary in 2021 which will coincide with the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews. Covering communication, marketing and branding, the tie-up heralds a new era for one of the world’s oldest golf courses.
“Much of the attraction of Forfar is tied to its history and the championship course designed by Old Tom Morris, but the club also has important years ahead of it,” explained Forfar Golf Club’s managing secretary Stuart Wilson. “Bringing in The Word Association to help us tell our story is a game-changer. It represents a new approach for the club and an important step in reaffirming Forfar’s formative role in the development of golf.”
Wilson, who won the Amateur Championship at St Andrews as well as the coveted Silver Medal at The Open in 2004, played in The Masters in 2005 – the last time Tiger Woods triumphed at Augusta before his extraordinary 2019 win. Following his visit to Georgia, Wilson took the reins at Forfar Golf Club and has been there for 14 years. He says the new arrangement has already brought renewed focus and energy to the club.
“I’ve known Mark for a number of years,” he explained. “Last year we worked together on a separate project in the run-up to The Open at Carnoustie. We got chatting and it became apparent The Word Association could help us communicate Forfar’s incredible story to a broader audience. We’ve already discussed some exciting ideas and are working together on a new strategy. We’re looking forward to what happens next and collaborating during the build-up to our 150th centenary. It should be fun.”
The unique heathland course which is known for its unusual ‘rig-and-furrow’ topography and undulating fairways was initially laid out by Old Tom Morris with 13 of his greens remaining in their original positions today. The fact it was re-designed by five-times Open Champion James Braid in 1926 only adds to the aura around the club says Mark Alexander, founder of The Word Association.
“Forfar Golf Club is special not only because of the fantastic heathland course and the amazing environment surrounding it, but also because of the significance of the place in terms of the history of golf,” he noted. “We’ve already started working with Stuart and the team to present the club with consistency and integrity, but our job is also to create a buzz about the club so golfers from around the UK and further afield want to experience one of golf’s most important layouts.”
One of the leading marketing consultancies in the golf industry, The Word Association was formed by husband-and-wife team Mark and Yvonne Alexander who work with private clubs, golf resorts and tourism businesses as well as hotels and industry trade bodies. According to Alexander, the tie-up with Forfar Golf Club was a natural fit.
“As well as helping to develop its marketing collateral, branding and communication, the attraction of working with a club like Forfar is the fantastic stories waiting to be told,” he said. “Forfar played an important role in the development of golf. Its connection with Old Tom Morris, for example, is a key aspect we will be communicating. This is an exciting project that will help reaffirm Forfar’s position as a linchpin in the growth of the game. Watch this space!”