‘One of Scotland’s best public golf courses’ to close next year

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire August 28, 2019 08:49

A public golf course in Dundee, where membership has dropped to less than 100 people, will close down next year as its local council wants to save thousands of pounds of public money.

The news comes just hours after the historic Mount Ellen Golf Club, also in Scotland, closed down.

According to The Courier, a council report states that running Camperdown Golf Course is costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, and the council is considering building a new nine-hole course and driving range at Caird Park as compensation, which already has a course that is a ‘Regional Performance Centre for Sport’.

This would reduce a subsidy the council pays to operator, Leisure & Culture Dundee, from £440,000 to £54,000, by 2021, states the report.

‘Problems with the infrastructure at the Camperdown were identified in a 2016 technical report which indicated woodland management, drainage and irrigation would need significant investment to resolve and maintain playability,’ adds The Evening Telegraph.

‘A decline in golf participation nationally has been mirrored in Dundee with the number of rounds played at Camperdown Golf Course dropping from 23,968 in 2009/10 to 17,369 in 2018/19, with the club’s membership currently standing at 90.’

The plan to close the course at the end of the current 2019/2020 season was passed by a single vote at the council, despite a passionate plea from club captain Ian McAlindon.

Council leader John Alexander said he is the last person who wants to see the Camperdown course close but added that councillors have to be “realists” in a time of financial challenge.

He said: “We have to recognise the real financial situation the council is in. Too many in this chamber put their head in the sand.

“This is a sensible approach to try to ensure sustainable public golf for the future in the face of difficult financial challenges.

“We welcome the innovative proposal from Leisure & Culture Dundee, as it shows that they are thinking about how to provide and develop the sport of golf and new participants in the future.

“The development of a driving range and the reinstatement of the nine-hole course at Caird Park would provide a first-class facility near to the Regional Performance Centre for Sport.

“I would hope that when the golfers used to playing Camperdown see the new facilities planned for Caird Park, and the extremely good value for money offered by Dundee’s municipal golf facilities when compared with other alternatives, that they will make the move.”

The closure was backed by just one vote – 14 votes to 13, and for one of the 14 who voted, Gregor Murray, this was their first vote as an independent councillor after being suspended following online abuse of a woman. Murray, who doesn’t identify as male or female, then quit the SNP over ‘transphobia’, but voted with all 13 SNP councillors to close the club down.

Sinclair Aitken, chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee added: “We’ve had another successful year managing facilities and services which provide wonderful cultural and leisure opportunities for the citizens of, and visitors to Dundee.

“We are excited by the proposals to establish a comprehensive golf centre in Caird Park and look forward to operating the nearby Regional Performance Centre for Sport which is due to open shortly.”

Camperdown Golf Course opened in 1959 and is recognised as one of the country’s best publicly-owned parkland courses.

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire August 28, 2019 08:49
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2 Comments

  1. Scott August 22, 11:45

    Such a shame! Used to play there when at Uni.

    Reply to this comment
  2. gmac September 11, 14:25

    Close caird park golf course instead It is a pathetic excuse for a golf facility whilst Camperdown is a great course in a magnificent setting . Get the private sector involved , market the place properly and increase fees by 10%.

    Reply to this comment
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