150-year-old golf club faces ‘permanent closure’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 6, 2021 10:33

A historic golf club in Scotland has set up a GoFundMe page in order to save it from permanently closing down.

The 150-year-old Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club is part of four different clubs that use the Braids Hill Course, and it has struggled during the pandemic.

Committee member Thomas Walker, who has been trying to attract more members and raise money, stated on the GoFundMe page: “We are raising funds to save our non-profit golf club. Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club has existed for over 150 years with our heritage being deeply entwined with that of the Braid Hills in Edinburgh.

“As a result of Covid-19 and other external factors we are facing the imminent event of closure meaning our close group of passionate golfers will no longer have a club to call theirs.”

After a positive impact from the fundraiser and twinned with acts of kindness from fellow members, Thomas, who at 27 is the youngest member of Edinburgh Thistle, is hopeful that the club can survive this difficult time for golfers around the city.

He said: “The big motivation behind doing the GoFundMe is of course because lockdown has hit us really hard. We don’t have the biggest membership on planet earth and in recent years we have seen numbers fall.

“A lot of the members have young families and aren’t able to get up and play. It’s been a bit of a climb to get people to join but that’s what we’re trying to do at the moment. We sat down a few weeks ago and basically said time has run out.”

In terms of the club’s history, legendary three-time major champion, Tommy Armour, was a member of the club and a frequent visitor as he was born in the city and later moved abroad.

Thomas admitted that the way the club is financially, it can’t afford to employ anyone to run their website, meaning most of their social media and online presence is done by himself and his friend, Keith.

As well as the fundraiser, Thomas also said that the club holds a regular breakfast club where every week someone goes in a few hours early on the weekend and makes breakfast rolls for the group, with all the proceedings going towards helping the club.

As well as trying to secure their future, Thomas also detailed how it has helped him mature through life, saying: “It was playing golf up there that really helped me connect with my dad and I got a lot of lessons from the guys that were there, not just about golf, but little things that helped me through life. As it’s a small tight-knit group, everyone sees each other as life-long friends.

“We’re trying to secure the golf club for the next generation but we also want to safeguard our heritage.

“It has the absolute best views in the city up there and it would be a shame for us to just disappear off the face of the earth.”

He added that he expects the club to pull through this winter at least and hopefully survive until the busier summer period.

To contribute, visit Edinburgh Thistle’s GoFundMe.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 6, 2021 10:33
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