The Club King
“If you are a club, you have some ability to be selective of the clientele. Our success is to have attractive, interesting places with attractive nice people. If you’re not a club—if you’re just a resort—you have no real control over the clientele. There’s no real spirit, no real atmosphere, no real camaraderie,” says de Savary, who acknowledges that few people endorsed his club idea at the outset. Skeptics, he says, dismissed the idea of developing the Skibo Castle property in Scotland, wondering who would visit another castle in Scotland to play a new golf course in a country that already has a thousand courses, many of them famous ones that people crave to play.
“One of the privileges of working hard and having some financial success is that you can do things in a slightly different way, and perhaps end up with a special, unique product that definitely has a different feeling and sense to it than those who have to fit some criteria, or into a box created by investors or a banker’s criteria or loan repayments, all that stuff that normally happens,” says de Savary.