Religious argument over Sunday golf could see club close

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 26, 2019 10:19

An historic, successful and stunning golf club on a Scottish island could, incredibly, be closed down, because its landlord does not want members playing on it on Sundays.

According to The Times newspaper, members of Stornoway Golf Club voted, at an annual general meeting last year, to allow golf to be played at the venue seven days a week, which contravenes its existing lease, which is currently up for renewal. Confusingly, while members are not allowed to play the course on Sundays, it is permissible for non-members to play the course on that day.

However, while its landlord, the Stornoway Trust, has offered the club a new lease, it again stipulates that members are prevented from accessing the course on Sundays in line with the island’s traditional religious observance.

Members have argued that the policy is unfair and anachronistic, with the island’s pubs and restaurants now open on Sundays and travel commonplace.

The present lease for the 18-hole course, which is within the grounds of Lews Castle and was founded in 1890, is up for renewal and while discussions have been taking place over the past year, no resolution has been reached.

At last month’s trust board meeting it was agreed that “due to the golf club’s continued failure to sign their new lease, trustees agreed that the trust’s solicitor should be instructed to issue a termination notice, should the club continue to fail to reach agreement”.

Iain MacIver, the trust’s factor, said: “We have instructed our solicitors to engage with their solicitors, whoever that may be, as we understand their initial legal representatives no longer represent them.

“This matter has been ongoing for some time and it needs to be resolved. At the moment our agreement goes from year to year, but the trustees felt this is unacceptable and we have given them until the end of the year to agree to the lease or we will have to seek alternative arrangements for the use of the land.”

Sunday observance was a prominent issue during elections to the trust’s board of directors last year and while many individuals actively campaigned for a change of policy the majority of those elected supported the retention of the status quo.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 26, 2019 10:19
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  1. Pete USA July 4, 12:51

    An answer to your prayers. With the new thrifty playing Hybrid MD Golf Ball…the Lord is just a pitch & putt away.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Chris July 1, 10:17

    Just close Sunday

    Reply to this comment
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