Glasgow council ‘considering converting six golf courses into forests’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 25, 2019 12:11

Glasgow City Council is considering reforesting golf courses in a bid to plant more trees and make the city greener.

As we reported in July, the 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.

Earlier this month, one of the six ‘temporarily’ closed due to a lack of staff.

According to The Scotsman, a group of councillors has called for the courses to be turned into forests, wetlands or allotments if they shut.

About 17 per cent of Glasgow is currently trees and authorities want to see more, with planting planned at the former King’s Park Golf Club.

In a document under consideration, the council’s climate emergency working group said: “Depending on the outcome of the current public consultation into the future of Glasgow’s public golf courses, it may be that some of these underutilised sites are also repurposed for food growing, tree planting or as a carbon sink.”

Martha Wardrop, the working group’s chairwoman, stressed that even if the courses stayed open there was a lot that could be done to make the greens greener.

Councillor Anna Richardson, who leads on climate issues for the council, said: “Increasing our tree planting programme is an area where we believe quick progress can be made.

“But there is already a substantial amount of tree planting going on in the city that contributes to Glasgow’s positive record on carbon reduction.

“Last year, the council was involved in planting 7,000 trees as part of various initiatives in existing woodland, parks and play areas.

“Extensive tree planting is now also an intrinsic part of new housing developments in the city as developers seek to create the kind of environments that appeal to incoming householders.

“We are also targeting vacant and derelict land as places where planting can take place, especially where there is little prospect of development in the short or medium term.”

Just outside Glasgow, an old club at Fernbrae, near Castlemilk, has been transformed into a new urban park, complete with new woods and a natural wetland that serves as a crucial flood defence, adds the paper.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 25, 2019 12:11
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  1. Arch October 6, 16:29

    I pass by Linn Park Golf Course regularly at the weekend and rarely see any golfers. I learned to play golf there in the 1970s and you had to be on the 1st tee at 7am at the weekends to get on. If they can’t be kept open as full 18 hole golf courses perhaps some part could be used as a “par3” course or the old “pitch n putt” courses. These short alternatives would encourage youngsters to get involved in the game.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Pete USA September 19, 19:54

    Afraid you’ve reached a point of no return with the standard golf course…takes too long to play…cost too much…too frustrating for the average golfer…fewer young people interested…older group departing…not eco-compatible! You’re way behind the times, suggest developing smaller quick-playing economy golf courses in combination with new “Hybrid” golf ball, for a more time efficient game.

    “Those who refuse to economize must learn to agonize” Confucius 540 AD

    Reply to this comment
  3. Adrian September 19, 17:32

    Ridiculous waste of resourses if courses close. Local government have no clue, should be widespread golf participation and heavy initiatives getting people into golf for health & social benefits. I do believe golf was invented in Scotland, you would think that should and will be protected as part of our heritage. We’ve missed the boat, Great Britain, erm not anymore. We are miles behind Europeans and now miles behind the far east. We’re a shambles of a golf nation for the masses.

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  4. Adrian September 19, 15:05

    Not surprised with low average wage in Scotland & disproportionately high cost of living people just can’t afford it. Then throw in atrocious cold & wet weather = course closures and lack of participation. Couple that with group on, wowcher deals and clubs have no chance to survive. Broken beyond repair IMO. In the far east golf is expensive and so it should be, quality requires cash investment and regular business. It will never recover in my lifetime in Scotland.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ryan September 19, 15:52

      Unfortunately I agree with you on that although I think that rather than just close these down the SGU and councils should be looking for ways to help struggling clubs rather than let these clubs close down.

      Reply to this comment
      • Adrian September 19, 16:02

        Ryan, recently mount ellen closed and now this. Not only does that affect the people as players but also the golf industry and those in it eg green keepers, PGA professionals. Anyone going into this profession nowadays has clearly not done their due diligence. Its a dying sport & I don’t hear solutions. My solution was get out of UK, the best move of my entire life!

        Reply to this comment
        • Ryan September 19, 16:33

          Adrian, its happening more and more, I am a member of one of the clubs that are struggling and without the time and effort from our ever reducing members I think we would of been closed sometime ago, I fear it is now only a matter of time. Glad you are enjoying working there, i’m not jealous at all LOL

          Reply to this comment
  5. Ryan September 19, 14:41

    Would it not be better for the council to try working with schools to encourage kids to take the game up as well as providing some funding to struggling clubs to help rather than close these down?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jason September 19, 16:31

      Spot on Ryan – The municipal courses give access to golf for everyone regardless of status, they should remain as they are.

      Reply to this comment
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