Scenic golf course down to just 15 members

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 27, 2016 13:12

One of the most picturesque golf clubs in the UK, Isle of Barra GC in Scotland, could close as it is down to just 15 members, even though membership costs just £75 per year.

Located in the Outer Hebrides at Cleat on the isle of Barra, with views of the Atlantic Ocean, the club, which opened in 1992, only had less than 70 members at its peak, but the current number may be unsustainable.

“The 15 people are struggling to keep the club open,” reports The Scotsman newspaper.

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The course lies on grazing ground and players have to be on the lookout for sheep, cattle and cowpats on the fairways – “but what it lacks in convenience it makes up for with spectacular views” states the paper.

Club spokesman Murdoch MacKinnon said: “It is the most westerly course in Britain and the views are absolutely stunning. It looks out to Barra Head on one side and on the other side towards the Uists; out to the Atlantic on one side and the Minch from the other. Visitors think the views are absolutely magnificent.”

However, he said the nine-hole course will close if members cannot raise enough cash to build a clubhouse and attract new players.

MacKinnon said: “We started in 1992 and we used to have 66 members, but we are down to 15 now and we are struggling.”

Visitors are asked to put £10 a game into an honesty box, with the course attracting about 200 to 300 golfers a year.

MacKinnon said: “We are putting the money we take in to get fertiliser and we used to have a greenkeeper for two half-days a week, but that is down to one half-day a week this year, so we are doing the cutting every day ourselves. Most of us are near retiring age but we are up there most evenings.

“We are very fortunate because the crofting township allows us to use the land, but it takes about £8,000 a year to keep the course going, with someone to help on the greens, and it is getting harder and harder every year.

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“The club will close if we don’t get a clubhouse – we thought if we could get a wee clubhouse we are absolutely sure that the youngsters would go in there – it would be a place to go if it rained.”

Appealing for donations, MacKinnon said: “We really don’t want to see it fold. If we could get £20,000 to £30,000 together we could build the place up. Most of the members are in the building trade, so we could do some of the work ourselves.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 27, 2016 13:12
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