Ex-Scottish hockey internationalist, Nicole Scott-McKie, set up MTX almost a decade ago, primarily running sports tours across the world. In 2020, she decided to change the direction of the business. Combining her two passions, golf and luxury travel. The MTX Golf Tournament was born. Read our interview with the sporting entrepreneur to find out more about the MTX experience and her take on the luxury travel trends.
Please tell us more about MTX Golf and where the idea came from.
MTX has organised sports tours across the world but never on home soil. Yet, having travelled the world, I can say with authority, that we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world so I wanted to create a package to allow others to come to Scotland to experience it for themselves. Playing golf in Scotland is on many a golfer’s bucket list, so I thought it would be a successful combination. With a growing number of women playing golf, I wanted to give them the opportunity to enjoy a luxury escape, and combine that with this unique competition.
The MTX experience is set in beautiful Scotland – the home of golf and world renowned for its many unique and luxury experiences. Other than it being the home of golf, were there any other factors considered when making this decision to host MTX in Scotland?
Scotland is a magical place. The finest landscapes, with friendliest people, the finest culinary delights, wonderful artisan producers, I could go on… We know when people visit Scotland, they leave with a love for Scotland. And yes, being home to some of the finest golf courses certainly helps!
We selected St Andrews for its rich golfing history, but it is also a wonderful part of Scotland to explore and easy to access from Edinburgh. The Old Course Hotel was also a huge pull. It is the perfect blend of traditional and modern, having only recently reopened followed a huge overhaul of the rooms and leisure facilities, creating a wonderful place to relax and unwind.
Do players need to be a certain handicap to participate in a tournament?
Yes, the handicap limit is 24. The great thing about golf is, a player with a high handicap can play a player with a low handicap, and you can still have a competitive game. There’s no other sport like it.
What sets MTX apart from other luxury golf trips?
Our inaugural event is for women only and, whilst there are tournaments for fathers and sons, and other events primarily aimed at male golfers, we felt there was a demand for an exciting event for female, amateur golfers.
We hope we have developed the perfect blend of organised experiences, time to explore the area, opportunities to socialise, as well as time to take a break from busy lives, all in a stunning setting, staying in one of the world’s finest hotels. Attention to detail is hugely important to me, I’m a stickler for detail so aim to offer a seamless experience with many special touches to make it truly memorable.
What can guests expect from the MTX experience?
With our luxury package, we believe we have created the perfect blend. A blend of competition, exploring the historic town of St Andrews, fine dining both in the hotel and the local eateries, relaxing in the spa and much more. It’s about spending time with a loved one and being looked after. Feeling virtuous after playing Scotland’s finest courses, then unwinding in the iconic five star Old Course Hotel, enjoying the finest service and relaxing in the world-renowned Kohler spa.
Tell us more about the four courses participants play and why you chose them.
Three of the courses are links courses, meaning they meander along the stunning coastline. Scottish links golf is where the sport originated, where the land is linked to the sea. Challenging yet gloriously rewarding if the wind is on your side. Dumbarnie is the newest course in Scotland and already ranked in the top five European courses and tipped to host the Ryder Cup in the coming years. Then we have the New Course, which is one of the oldest courses in Scotland, with its undulating fairways mirroring the sea and challenging greens. Our third links course is Kingsbarns, ranked in the top five Scottish courses, it hosted The Rioch Women’s British Open in 2017. Finally, we have blended these links course with The Dukes, a heathland course showing off Scotland’s rugged landscape in all its glory and with a hole named The Braw View, golfers can pause to take in the breathtaking scenery.
You mention, goody bags (we love a good goody bag!) please tell us about your partners and how you select them?
We’re keeping our goody bag suppliers underwraps at the moment, but what participants can expect is a blend of indulgent products from Scotland’s finest producers. A taste of luxury combined with items which can be enjoyed for years to come.
Any special prizes for a hole in 1?!
Absolutely! We also have prizes for the winner of the trophy which teams will play for on the last day.
How has Covid impacted MTX and how has the business had to adapt so far?
We launched the tournament in December 2020, so at the height of the pandemic. Some thought we were crazy! But my view was that once we get out of this, which we will, people will want and deserve some luxury. An escape with a friend or family member, someone that, due to the pandemic, they haven’t spent much time with, so it will be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect, be looked after and share some laughs. We hope that the uncertain nature of the pandemic won’t put people off booking, and this is why we’ve included a Covid-secure booking policy which covers their booking in the event that it doesn’t go ahead due to the pandemic.
The luxury travel sector has evolved significantly in recent years, what are the biggest changes you’ve observed in your niche and what do you anticipate over the next few years?
In terms of sports breaks, other than yoga perhaps, they’ve been quite male-focused in the past, so it is encouraging to see more escapes made for women who love sport. They have also become more luxurious. You no longer have to choose between high end or activity holidays, you can now enjoy both. Sport can be combined with all the luxury frills of say a spa escape. I think luxury sports breaks will only grow. More people are taking up sport and recognising the benefits of living an active life. Being able to combine a passion with a little luxury is the perfect, guilt-free balance.
What does luxury mean to you?
It’s a feeling. Feeling looked after, care-free, guilt-free and indulgent.
Finally, what is your life motto (if you have one).
Do more of what you love.