Edinburgh golf courses report huge growth in last year

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 28, 2021 06:37

Municipal golf courses in Edinburgh have reported that the number of rounds on their venues, and membership of them, was nearly two-thirds higher in the second half of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

From their reopening at the beginning of June following the first full lockdown, through to the end of December, a total of 22,097 rounds were played at the Braids, Wee Braids, Carrick Knowe, Silverknowes, Craigentinny and Portobello golf courses, a rise of 65 percent compared with June to December 2019.

Membership of Edinburgh Leisure, the charity that runs the six courses, grew by a similar amount during that time, from 2,057 to to 3,251 – a rise of 58 percent.

“The entire golf team is delighted to see the courses so busy, especially with a higher than usual number of golfers in the under 30 age group,” said Ken Harvey, Edinburgh Leisure’s head of customers operations.

“The increase in players can, of course, be attributable to the restrictions on other activities, but we hope that having picked up their clubs these customers will continue to participate in golf.

“It is also pleasing to see the investment we have made in equipment, irrigation, staff training and enabling us to keep the courses open and in playable condition throughout the winter, albeit the recent snowfalls have been a challenge.”

Silverknowes Golf Club. Image from Facebook

The charity has also said that demand to play at the venues this January has been very strong – Scotland is the only country in the UK where golf can be played at the moment, in either one or two-balls.

As a result, opening hours have been extended and the gap between tee times has been reduced from 10 to seven minutes, to accommodate 36 additional tee times per day.

“The adherence to guidelines by golfers all over the country has, I believe, contributed to the decision to remain open and I would like to thank all golfers for making this possible,” added Harvey.

This comes just a few months after Glasgow City Council said it is considering reforesting golf courses in a bid to plant more trees and make the city greener, and there had been talk of reducing holes at Edinburgh venues.

“Golf has undoubtedly been in a position to take advantage of the restrictions on other forms of activity,” said Harvey.

“We hope that the new and returning golfers continue to play. This would be a really positive step, not only for golf in Edinburgh but for golf in Scotland.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 28, 2021 06:37
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  1. PG February 1, 12:41

    Let’s see this continue into 2021 and beyond growing the grassroots game ️‍♂️

    Reply to this comment
  2. Graham D January 28, 17:28

    Wish we could play in England…☹️

    Reply to this comment
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