Loch Lomond for Sale?

SCOTLAND'S most expensive golf club faces being sold off in a multi-million-pound deal.

The Loch Lomond course is the millionaires' favourite, costing £75,000 to join with annual fees of £3250.

The five-star club is where Colin Montgomerie married his partner Gaynor Knowles last month.

And the course is home to the Barclays Scottish Open when Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Adam Scott will be among those competing next month for £3million in prize money.

The possible sale of the club, designed by former Open champ Tom Weiskopf, comes after a series of high-profile departures, including the exit of membership secretary Donald Macdonald and golf professional Colin Campbell.

It's believed theMiddle East holding company Dubai World, who have assets worth around £50billion, are favourites to buy the 7060-yard course.

The company are owned by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Representatives from Dubai World subsidiary Leisurecorp recently stayed for several days at the prestigious club.

Leisurecorp recently signed a £55million deal to buy Turnberry in Ayrshire, where The Open will be staged next year.

And they also have their sights on the five-star Gleneagles Hotel and its three courses.

It's thought they will have to pay £350million to secure both Loch Lomond and Gleneagles Speculation about the sale of the Loch Lomond club, which has 900 members, has mounted recently.

It is owned by US tycoon Lyle Anderson, whose companies run upmarket golf clubs in America. Anderson also owns Dundonald Links, which opened in 2003. Many members travel there by helicopter from Loch Lomond.

The course was built on the ancestral home of the Clan Colquhoun.

Rossdhu House, the restored 18thcentury clan seat, is the clubhouse.

The restoration of the building was a mammoth task and was completed in July 1997.

The grounds include suites and lodges for guests. The apartments of the Garden Cottages and the Carriage House are of the highest standard.

Only a member can invite you to play and even the members are not encouraged to play too often.

They are reminded that it is "intended as an international club for the occasional use of members and their guests and not meant as their primary club".

The closest many can come to appreciating its style is watching on TV as the European Tour compete here before The Open.

Nick Faldo said of the lush fairways and manicured greens: "This is the finest golf course in Europe.

"It simply cannot be faulted. This is the standard all other European courses have to strive to attain."

Asked to comment on the possible sale and staff departures, a spokesman in New York for Loch Lomond Golf Club said: "We choose not to engage in speculation about the club or about employment matters."

And a spokesman for Leisurecorp said the company "always declines" to comment on matters relating to acquisitions.

From Daily Record Scotland