Cryptocurrency community buys historic Scottish links

Growing Golf
Spey Bay Golf Club, Scotland

A digital community of golf and cryptocurrency enthusiasts has purchased a historic Scottish links course, according to its founders. 

Links DAO, a ‘decentralised autonomous organisation,’ says it has entered an exclusivity agreement to buy Spey Bay Golf Club on Scotland’s Moray coastline between Aberdeen and Inverness. 

Earlier this year, Spey Bay was put up for sale with a guide price for offers above £750,000 (US $900,000).

The links course is located at the mouth of the River Spey, on Scotland’s Moray Firth, and was laid out by legendary Scottish clubmaker Ben Sayers in 1907.

LinksDAO was founded in 2021 and is reported to have raised more than $11m in a single day through the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in exchange for membership of its community.

The organisation describes itself as a global community of thousands of enthusiasts coming together to create one of the world's greatest golf clubs. Its website says it aims to reimagine the modern golf and leisure club and acquire ownership of golf courses globally.

It is the first time that a UK golf course has been purchased exclusively with funds from the acquisition and sale of cryptocurrency.

Golf Digest reported on the sale and refers to LinksDAO as “mostly young, tech-forward millennial and Gen Z golfers from throughout the world, though most are based in the United States”.

NBA Basketball player Steph Curry is reported to be among the investors.

Adam Besvinick, Head of Strategy at LinksDAO, told Golf Digest: “The older, traditional club membership feels too rigid, too structured and too limiting for the vast majority of young golfers regardless of income.

“Not everyone wants to join one single club and only play that course all year. What we’re trying to build is something that bridges an online and offline community of thousands of golfers who are passionate and obsessed with the game in a variety of ways, from architecture to travel to gambling to watching the (PGA) Tour to gear.”

Almost 90% of its membership was in favour of acquiring Spey Bay Golf Club, with 3,800 of the 4,300 turnout voting to purchase.

LinksDAO has 5,400 members and operates Links Play, a digital platform providing access to golf at more than 200 courses and a range of exclusive partner benefits with brands including TopGolf, Five Iron Golf, ARCCOS, Callaway and Ship Sticks.

The group has engaged Kemper Sports to support its acquisition of Spey Bay and is seeking advice from leading designers on how to remodel the 6,219-yard links.

LinksDAO CEO Jim Daily says the deal is now at the due diligence phase and is expected to be concluded in April.

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