A drive to advance his career in the golf industry will see Sean Gunn move from the shores of the Moray Firth to the Pacific Ocean coast this winter.
For the next four months, the 24-year-old from Inverness will swap Castle Stuart Golf Links near the Highland capital for the leading golf resort at Bandon Dunes in Oregon where he has secured an internship.
Sean has worked at the internationally-renowned Castle Stuart for three years, having gained a Diploma in Sports Coaching and a BA in Sports Management at Inverness College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
To help with his career development, he will work until April at Bandon Dunes, a huge facility which has four links courses, a 13-hole Par 3 course and 50-acre practice area, as well as lodges, a restaurant and casino.
Sean was recommended for the position by Chris Haspell, Castle Stuart’s course manager, and secured the position after contacting Bandon Dunes’ director of golf.
His training and personal development plan will see him working primarily in the golf shop, but also carrying out some operations work, as he does at Castle Stuart, including product knowledge sessions with vendors, customer service training and accounting skills.
Sean said: “I see this as an exciting opportunity to develop both professionally and personally. I’m really looking forward to expanding my horizon, meet another team and gain experience at a first-class venue with several courses and accommodation.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work at such a prestigious venue as Castle Stuart for three years, and I think spending some time at Bandon Dunes will help me add to my knowledge of the industry and gain a fresh perspective on all things golf, and maybe even take some ideas home with me.”
An avid, six-handicap golfer and member of Tain Golf Club, Sean also hopes to do some travelling and enjoy some hiking along the Pacific coastal routes during his time in the US: “I’ve also set my heart on attending an American football match and going to a basketball game – and maybe even go to The Masters in April. If there’s time, I’d also like to get my handicap down a bit.”
Stuart McColm, Castle Stuart’s general manager, added: “Sean is a very hard working and popular member of the Castle Stuart staff and we wish him well on what will be a wonderful experience for him.
“Working at one of the world’s leading golf resorts will certainly help him develop his career and the knowledge he gains will help him enormously as he progresses in the industry.”
Castle Stuart Golf Links has achieved rapid international acclaim since opening in 2009. This year it held the European Tour’s Scottish Open for the fourth time in six years.