Fears grow for Glasgow’s six municipal golf courses

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 30, 2019 20:17

Glasgow City Council has said it is seeking views on the city’s six golf courses ‘due to low usage and a substantial annual deficit’, raising fears that they might close down.

Options being considered include reducing fees, restricting opening hours or scrapping the courses altogether, reports the Evening Times.

‘Axing the city’s six public golf courses had been contemplated when budgets plans were being drawn up,’ it states.

Councillor David McDonald said a golf working group had been set up to consider a range of issues, including health benefits and maintenance costs.

“There’s no point in having a consultation and then seeking to pre-empt it. What we are doing is seeking to establish as wide a range of views on the future of golf in Glasgow as possible.

“One of the challenges we face as a city is the cost of subsidising golf, there is a very wide ranging spectrum of subsidies in place.

“We subsidise golf in Knightswood to the cost of £17.30 while at Ruchill we subsidise golf to the tune of £458.95.

“It’s clear that level of subsidy per course is unsustainable, based on the overall cost and the income the council receives from golf.

“We also have to note the declining figures of golf, not just in Scotland but across Europe,” he said.

He added that figures show Scotland has lost the greatest number of golfers among European countries.

In a question and answer session, Bailie Norman MacLeod, who is leading the working group, asked McDonald to re-emphasise for “the avoidance of any doubt” that the “present consultation is a real consultation with nothing having been decided in advance”.

Frank McAveety asked: “In the run up to the very difficult budget setting we had only a number of months ago, we were assured by members of the minority administration that any prospect of these facilities closing was not the case. Is that still the case or do we expect to see proposals to close the golf courses in the city?”

Mr McDonald replied: “This is a genuine opportunity for everyone to shape the future of golf in Glasgow.”

There are three 18-hole courses – Littlehill, Lethamhill and Linn Park – and three nine-hole courses – Knightswood, Ruchill and Alexandra Park – operated by Glasgow Life, the cultural and sporting arm of Glasgow City Council.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 30, 2019 20:17
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  1. Pete August 1, 12:00

    Your still playing the golf of the dark ages…economize the game! Who has the time anymore?
    Use the new Hybrid golf ball which reduces the size of the course needed, making the game affordable and less frustrating. Offers an updated golf format in half the time on smaller land saving compact courses.

    Reply to this comment
    • RePete August 1, 14:18

      Agreed, Golf has lost touch with today’s accelerated culture. The computer age of quick-in, quick-out has changed our psyche with the standard no longer acceptable, hence empty fairways pay no bills and courses close.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Daryn July 29, 15:51

    This angers me greatly. For 3 years, I have been trying to engage, unsuccessfully, with Glasgow Life regards this exact subject and the potential solution to the problem which would also increase engagement across the schools estate and beyond. Sadly, it appears people sitting on their hands and maintaining the status quo are running the show and keeping their work seats warm. Really, really, genuinely disappointing. There is absolutely no need for this to be the case and a positive answer is there and waiting.

    For the removal of doubt, I’d still be delighted to talk, help if it’s wanted and try and disrupt the status quo positively for the benefit of all.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter July 25, 16:17

    Few, if any, cities can support six courses anymore. Many can’t support one ! As cities face budget cutbacks, less tax revenues and fewer dollars for equipment, fertilizer and chemicals course management no longer is viable ! Cities and city managers have way too much on their plate these days to deal with, courses require too much time, education and focus to succeed ! They cannot afford the expenditures, the dedication and the devotion. In some markets, public courses are floundering because of the “discounting” taking place in the premium-priced and private sector ! One great affordable course with great customer service will attract citizens and be enough for almost any community !

    Reply to this comment
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