Historic Scottish golf club permanently closes

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire November 13, 2018 14:59

An Edinburgh golf club that was over 100 years old has closed down – with reports suggesting that its membership had fallen to just 20 people.

Carrick Knowe Golf Club had hit ‘acute financial difficulties’ according to Edinburgh Evening News, which had seen the facility struggling ‘to pay its creditors’.

The 18-hole venue was established in 1905.

A statement on the club’s website reads: ‘It is with great regret that the remaining members of Carrick Knowe Golf Club have made the difficult decision to close the club.

‘Our membership numbers have steadily reduced in recent years and resulted in a situation where it is not viable to continue, in a competition or financial capacity.

‘Closing at this time will ensure that all our creditors can be paid and for our premises to be handed over to The City of Edinburgh Council.

‘Therefore, Carrick Knowe Golf Club will cease to exist as of 11th November 2018.

‘Thank you to all who have supported us over the years.’

The newspaper added that the golf club was down to just 20 members when the decision was taken to shut its doors.

Norman Burns, who had been a member for more than a decade, said: “The membership had been slowly dwindling. I would say it is just a sign of time in golf.”

Some of those left without a club have already joined the neighbouring Carrickvale Golf Club, which also uses the Edinburgh Leisure-managed Carrick Knowe course that remains open.

Carrickvale secretary John Pow said: “The Carrick Knowe committee spoke to us about a couple of months ago to say that it was highly likely they were going to have to call it a day and what would our reaction be to their guys coming over.

“We were more than happy to take them on as we have known most of the guys for a number of years. It was never an issue. Currently, we have had eight of their playing members join and we are expecting a few more.”

Former Scottish Golfer of the Year, Scott Knowles, added: “Carrick Knowe was where I was taught the game by my dad Louis, who was a member, before going to Kingsknowe.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Leisure said: “The decline in golf club membership nationally is something Edinburgh Leisure courses are not immune to.

“However, given that you don’t have to be a club member to enjoy playing golf and that over 65 per cent of Edinburgh Leisure’s season-ticket holders choose not to join traditional clubs, it perhaps reflects the trend towards more casual or nomadic golf.

“Further to this, the Edinburgh Leisure Golf Club has 130 members and rising which offers medals and handicaps without the ‘fuss’ of the traditional club. Some 227 customers have signed up to our ‘Winter’ season or ‘Full’ season membership since October 1 and our usage data does demonstrate that Edinburgh Leisure’s courses are providing a quality product at an attractive price point.

“Golf clubs and courses must change the offer to attract new users, particularly women, young people and families. Edinburgh Leisure is keen to ensure golf continues to be made accessible to Edinburgh residents and we are making playing the game an easy option.

“Consequently, clubs must realise that not to change and look to the future, could place them at risk. Edinburgh Leisure is working with clubs and will support them wherever it is practical to do so.”

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire November 13, 2018 14:59
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12 Comments

  1. David November 13, 10:05

    Every time I go on Facebook I see Scotish Golf Clubs with the next cheap offer, it is sad to see, Scotland gave the world golf and it is turning into a race to the bottom, in my humble opinion, 20% of Scottish golf clubs closing would go a long way to easing the problem, there wouldn‘t be 20% less golfers, it is business suicide with all these cheap memberships and greenfees whilst investing heavily to keep up the maintainance required, golf in Scotland for most non tourism clubs has become a buyers market, a reduction in clubs would make a sellers market possible and strengthen the remaining clubs survival chances.

    Reply to this comment
    • Richard November 13, 15:06

      Spot on! I think you pretty much summed up not just Scotland but whole of UK golf market there David. Short sighted golfers are putting pressure on providers to offer great deals now but will also be the same people complaining when quality of facilities starts to fall in the future. I agree Clubs should stand firm with regards to holding prices but that is sometimes easier said than done?!

      Reply to this comment
    • Mike November 14, 12:02

      Golf clubs not on the “must play” and the tourist list have their heads stuck in the sand. They need to get together and set a decent minimum green fee soon or many will close !
      I keep posting this article but it’s an excellent one from someone who knows what’s going on in the golf world.
      https://www.scottishgolftourismweek.co.uk/sgtw-blog-news7

      Reply to this comment
      • Ian November 14, 12:11

        Spot on Mike. I was fortunate enough to have clubs on the ‘must play’ list and a lot of golfers I spoke to were put off going to a course because it was ‘too’ cheap.

        Reply to this comment
      • Jeff November 14, 14:39

        what does it currently cost to play The Braids or similar? Luftness? Other courses that are good but not well known or on the “must play” lists.

        Reply to this comment
        • Mike November 14, 14:54

          Braids is £25.30 during the week and £26.50 at weekends Luffness is £100 anytime from 1 December Gullane 1 now £155 during the week and £180 at weekends next year!! Muirfield, Turnberry, Troon, Kingsbarns and the like £250++

          Reply to this comment
    • David November 14, 17:31

      golf is a business and in any business price = cost + profit + VAT, as a golf club you need to know what a round of golf costs rhen price in the profit then VAT, any club that isn‘t doing that is damaging Scotish Golf and sgouldn‘t be in business, it pains me as a lover of golf and Scotland, of course it has been a gradual process, but it has to stop, ScottishGolf is doing a good job and the develpments on the Golf Course Manager side is tremendous, but ALL clubs must embrace this and take part, „he who doesn‘t go with the times goes with time“

      Reply to this comment
  2. Richard F November 13, 17:39

    For clarity, The course remains open as does Carrickvale Golf Club which is still situated on site.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Alberto November 13, 18:47

    So sad for this new.

    Reply to this comment
  4. David November 13, 19:05

    Makes me wonder why no other organisation could be offered this to turn it around, seems strange!

    Reply to this comment
  5. djm November 15, 15:34

    & the Scottish Golf quango feels it appropriate to hike club members dues by 1/3…..gotta pay for those blazers somehow

    Reply to this comment
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