Shock over pro's departure from historic Scottish golf club

Members at one of Scotland's oldest golf clubs have been left shocked over a decision that will see its PGA professional leave later this month.

Richard Brian has been the head pro at Bruntsfield Links since 2008 but is leaving the Capital club later this month. Picture: Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society
Richard Brian has been the head pro at Bruntsfield Links since 2008 but is leaving the Capital club later this month. Picture: Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society

Richard Brian's imminent departure from Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, which is the fourth oldest in the world having been founded in 1761, was revealed to members in an email from the captain, David Lawson.

Obtained by The Scotsman, the email said the step was being taken by "mutual agreement" after the board had made a decision to "implement changes to the delivery of the coaching and related services by the Society's PGA professional".

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Brian has worked at Bruntsfield Links since 1996, starting as an assistant to the long-serving Brian MacKenzie before succeeding him as the head professional in 2008.

"He has made a tremendous contribution to the development and success of the Society over these years," said Lawson in his email.

"He has been a valued asset to generations of the Society's members and administrators and he will be sorely missed.

"The board wish to make it clear that he leaves with their very best wishes for his future success."

Brian's departure from the Davidson’s Mains club was described as a "big disappointment" by one member, who asked to be unnamed.

He added: "We have no idea why this decision has been made, which I guess is part of the frustration and annoyance among some people."

The process to find a successor for Brian, who will leave the former Open Regional Qualifying venue on 21 November, will start straight away, according to Lawson.

He said: "The board will launch the external tender process for the Society's next professional.

"Interim arrangements will be made to cover the PGA professional services role during the tender process, and members will be informed of these arrangements in the coming days.

"I'm sure that all our members would wish to join the board in thanking Richard for his loyalty and service.

"We would encourage members to visit Richard at the shop in the coming weeks and to provide him with your support and best wishes for the future in his final few weeks with the Society."

Brian's brother, Steven, is the head pro next door at Royal Burgess, another of the oldest societies in the world.

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