Four historic golf clubs could merge into one due to loss of members

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 28, 2015 11:03

Four of the world’s most historic golf clubs, which are all located in the same Scottish town, could merge into one venue because all four have suffered significant drops in members in the last few years.

The unique proposal comes just days after an industry spokesman said the worst was over for UK golf clubs after years of struggling against tough socio-economic conditions.

There have been a few cases of two local clubs merging into one since the economic downturn started, and at least one case of three clubs converting into one, but this may be the only time in global history of four golf clubs joining forces to create a single facility.

The four are Monifieth Golf Links, rated the 47th best course in Scotland according to, which was officially established in 1858, although its course is described as the 16th oldest in the world, as it dates back to 1845, Broughty Golf Club, which has been in existence since 1878, Ladies Panmure Golf Club, another venue that was established in the 19th century, and Grange Golf Club, which was established more recently.

All four are based in Monifieth, a town near Dundee that is famous for its quality golf courses.


According to local newspaper The Courier, ‘total membership has dropped almost a third in the last decade and fears have been expressed about the implications of a continued fall.’

The combined membership of the four clubs stands now at less than 1,000, and the members are being surveyed to ask if they would be prepared to retain their clubs’ individual identities but share one clubhouse, be prepared to go for full amalgamation or neither.

‘Golf club membership has fallen over many years and the Monifieth clubs have not escaped the problems of having to make ends meet with fewer regular customers,’ states the paper.

‘The clubs have experienced a fall in younger adult golfers with less than 30 percent of the Monifieth membership in the 30 to 50 age bracket.

‘The demographic factor points to significantly fewer people playing golf at Monifieth in the future.’

Spokesman Jack Hutcheon said: “It is incumbent on the current membership at Monifieth to ensure golf thrives and is enjoyed here by future generations.

“There is no guarantee that membership numbers will be sufficient to maintain the present position indefinitely.

“Each of our clubs are rightly proud of their traditions, therefore the option to share the same building would bring substantial savings to running costs, whilst allowing clubs to keep their individual identities if required.

“This is why we felt that the clubhouse sharing option, as an alternative to full amalgamation, was worthy of thought.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 28, 2015 11:03
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  1. DJM May 28, 19:46

    No doubt the invoice for expenses involved in this amalgamation is on its way to the English taxpayer

    Reply to this comment
  2. pensioner pete May 28, 15:30

    As the country moves towards Independence golf clubs huddle together for comfort

    Reply to this comment
    • Common sense September 27, 15:20

      I sincerely hope we are NOT moving towards independence. The bigoted incompetence of the Scottish Parliament is beyond belief!!!

      Reply to this comment
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