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Mark Chaplin

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #300 on: June 22, 2020, 03:41:41 AM »
At £428 for full local membership the club have clearly had zero contingency for loss of visitor income. More fool people paying £10k to sponsor cheap golf for the locals.
Cave Nil Vino

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #301 on: June 22, 2020, 04:01:43 AM »
At £428 for full local membership the club have clearly had zero contingency for loss of visitor income. More fool people paying £10k to sponsor cheap golf for the locals.



Mark,


£428 is the price the market up here will take which is why RD also charges in the same region. Brora is a holiday destination and has been for a long time so greenfee revenue is a legitimate part of their budget. I do think that clubs should look to cover their costs through membership alone though and use GFs as extra income. Lets face it even an affluent club can only keep going for 8 months or so on a 60%-40% Membership to GF split.  ;)

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #302 on: June 22, 2020, 08:51:31 AM »
Mark,


Two points.


1. Clubs in remote rural areas charge whatever the local market will bear for membership. More often than not this is a fraction of what a club with an equivalent course in southern England could charge.


2. The whole business model of such clubs is that half if not more of their income comes from visitors. This is not a flaw - it is reality. Such clubs are in the tourism business.


Selling distance and country memberships is clearly a good idea, to reduce dependence on casual visitors

Ryan Coles

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #303 on: June 22, 2020, 11:14:48 PM »
I'd be really interested to hear what proportion of the income at great clubs such as Hollinwell (it's going to be hard to call Notts that), Cavendish and Silloth comes from overseas visitors and non-local visitors.  I suspect very little, even in those cases.


I guess it depends how you define "non-local".

Cavendish and Silloth are both highly dependent on visitor income to supplement a relatively low membership base from their immediate area.

Nearly half of Cavendish's income is from green fees - the bulk of that involving visiting societies from within an hour or so's driving distance, a potential market of 5 million people.  "Local" in Buxton means 10 minutes driving distance!

I don't yet know the figures at Silloth but I imagine that the situation reflects that at other remote links courses whereby a small local membership paying a low annual subscription is made sustainable by a large number of visitors paying a green fee that is high in proportion to the annual subs. Silloth's realistic catchment area for visitors is far wider than Cavendish's - up to two and a half hours drive, making up a market of some 20 million people.

Silloth and Cavendish have distinct similarities in that they are each seen as possibly the best quality "affordable" course for visiting parties within their respective catchments. Both are nudging up their green fees slowly but surely after years of being "too cheap". I suspect that the more they go up (within reason) the more visitors will be attracted. Membership at both meanwhile, is an absolute bargain. 8)

Hollinwell is a different beast entirely. A high-end club with a magnificent course financed principally by members paying a high annual subscription for their golfing oasis relatively close to their homes and professional lives in the East Midlands. I am sure that visitor income is a very welcome boost to the coffers at Hollinwell, but I am equally sure that if push came to shove they could manage perfectly well without it. That Hollinwell too are nudging up their green fee has not gone unnoticed. It's now £110!


International money tends to go to specific areas such as Surrey, Kent, Lancashire, Ayrshire, Lothian, Fife, and Dornoch. The three clubs mentioned will pick up bits and pieces, but are not on the main trial.

This is a thread about Scottish golf, but I suspect that the varying models of these three English clubs are recognisable in Scotland too. There are almost as many models as there are golf clubs!


Hollinwell is circa £600k in subs and £250k in greenfees according to companies house.

Mark Pearce

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #304 on: June 23, 2020, 01:22:46 AM »
Thanks, Ryan.  Of a total income of £1.34m green fees accounted in 2017/18 for £250k.  That green fee figure includes, it seems, corporate days etc (these aren't in "Other Income") and obviously includes locals (and other UK nationals) paying a green fee.  So green fees account for less than 20% of income at one of the leading clubs in the country which is not in a major golf tourism area.  And of those, I would expect that far less than £100k represents overseas green fees.  Does that seem reasonable?
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #305 on: June 23, 2020, 03:46:52 AM »
Which tends to support my earlier assertion that while jolly handy, visitor income is not essential to a club such as Hollinwell.


The same would be true of the more elite clubs around all major cities. Not all have particularly noteworthy golf courses.


Clubs such as Silloth, Cavendish, Harlech, Machrihanish and Dornoch however, are absolutely reliant on visitor income. There are simply not enough chimney pots in the immediate vicinity to support such a golf club via membership subs alone.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 03:50:27 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #306 on: June 24, 2020, 10:04:08 AM »
We are about 50-50 on our income. It will hit us hard as we rely on visitor income heavily, that aside our green fees are good so we are making up some ground.


287 cancellations since March for 2020 bookings for golf socities, weddings, conferences, parties.  Represents about £500,000.


I think some clubs will be doing well out of the pandemic in the UK, most golf courses are packed from dawn to dusk and many report new members one club I consult at have added 182 new members, the closure of the clubhouse will also lead to huge savings.


Overall golf has been re-energised as there has been ****** else to do....the big question is will clubs retain these black sheep or at next renewal will they say baaaaah
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
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Ryan Coles

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #307 on: June 26, 2020, 09:03:57 AM »
Which tends to support my earlier assertion that while jolly handy, visitor income is not essential to a club such as Hollinwell.


The same would be true of the more elite clubs around all major cities. Not all have particularly noteworthy golf courses.


Clubs such as Silloth, Cavendish, Harlech, Machrihanish and Dornoch however, are absolutely reliant on visitor income. There are simply not enough chimney pots in the immediate vicinity to support such a golf club via membership subs alone.


Albeit they would show a deficit of £240k If you took away the visitor income. (Plus F&B, Minus admin).


I’m sure they would be fine but it would mean an additional £1k on the annual subs. I’m sure they’d have no shortage of takers, but Clubs in their position can have the best of both worlds, low prices for members, high end quality.

Mark Pearce

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #308 on: June 26, 2020, 11:35:17 AM »
Which tends to support my earlier assertion that while jolly handy, visitor income is not essential to a club such as Hollinwell.


The same would be true of the more elite clubs around all major cities. Not all have particularly noteworthy golf courses.


Clubs such as Silloth, Cavendish, Harlech, Machrihanish and Dornoch however, are absolutely reliant on visitor income. There are simply not enough chimney pots in the immediate vicinity to support such a golf club via membership subs alone.


Albeit they would show a deficit of £240k If you took away the visitor income. (Plus F&B, Minus admin).


I’m sure they would be fine but it would mean an additional £1k on the annual subs. I’m sure they’d have no shortage of takers, but Clubs in their position can have the best of both worlds, low prices for members, high end quality.
Most of those clubs will have more than 240 members, though, won't they?  And they'd almost certainly make some cuts, too.  But your point is good, £240k is pretty significant for a business turning over £1.3m.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #309 on: June 26, 2020, 12:43:04 PM »
Mark,


Most of those clubs probably have waiting lists for membership. Let in an extra 50 members (or 100 country members) and the deficit has gone!

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #310 on: June 27, 2020, 02:35:07 AM »
https://www.thegolfbusiness.co.uk/2020/06/scottish-golf-2018-2019/



2018-19 was the best year for Scottish golf clubs in years
By Alistair Dunsmuirthe


Scottish golf clubs saw a sharp drop in the pace of membership decline before the pandemic started, according to new data.


Since golf courses in Scotland reopened at the end of May there has been a surge in memberships, but it wasn’t known until now that the decline of members in Scotland had come almost to a halt.


At Scottish Golf’s first ever virtual annual general meeting, featuring more than 100 delegates, it was revealed that a long-term decline in members at Scottish clubs has slowed significantly, with 500 fewer adult members at Scottish golf clubs during 2019, compared with a reduction of more than 5,500 from 2017 to 2018.


Between 2012 and 2018 the number of members of Scottish golf clubs dropped from about 210,000 to just over 180,000 – an average of nearly 5,000 a year.


This means 2018-19 was probably the best year for the Scottish golf industry in several years.


In addition, Scottish Golf chair, Eleanor Cannon explained that golf clubs have reported a jump in new membership applications since the end of May 2020.


She said: “We are getting very positive feedback from lots of clubs which are dealing with membership applications on a scale they’ve not seen for years. We have heard of clubs that have had over 80 new membership applications in the past few weeks and that’s a very welcome trend we hope continues throughout the year.


“Many of those applications are from golfers who would otherwise play as visitors, but we have also received reports of new applications from people who visited golf courses for the first time to walk and exercise during the lockdown and have been encouraged to join by the friendly responses they received from existing members.”


The AGM also heard how Scottish Golf rebated £575,000 back to clubs across the country as the pandemic forced courses to close, helping them deal with the inevitable cash-flow hit from green fees and clubhouse takings.  In addition, a £40,000 emergency fund was established to help clubs which have been particularly badly affected by the impact of the lockdown restrictions.


She added that digital technology will play an increasingly crucial role in helping golfers and clubs in Scotland deal with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.


She concluded: “Lastly, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19. Many clubs have lost valued members and friends to this disease in recent months and our thoughts go out to their families and friends.”


Brian_Ewen

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #311 on: July 06, 2020, 12:58:22 PM »
https://www.bunkered.co.uk/golf-news/golf-in-aberdeen-hits-40-year-high-following-lockdown



Golf in Aberdeen hits 40-YEAR high following lockdown
By Michael McEwan — 06 July, 2020


In the first three weeks of golf receiving the green light to restart in Scotland, Golf Aberdeen welcomed almost 10,000 golfers back to its courses, with 6,200 tee times booked in that period.


This is the busiest the courses have been in the last 40 years, with every course almost at capacity, each day.


Golf Aberdeen manages the courses - namely the MacKenzie Championship Course, Hazlehead Pines, Balnagask and Kings Links - on behalf of Sport Aberdeen, whose chairman Tony Dawson is delighted with how 'Granite City' locals have rallied behind the so-called return to golf.


“The appetite for golf that we are currently seeing is exceptional, and very much welcomed," said Dawson. "Golf is an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages and is one of the few sporting options available to participate in at the moment.


“The current situation has proven that golf is incredibly important to the people of Aberdeen and we want to continue to provide them with a fantastic, high quality, accessible offering across all of our courses.


“Public golf courses have, at times, been considered a poor relation to private clubs. However, thanks to the significant hard work and investment into Sport Aberdeen’s venues, the city now has five high quality courses of a standard that can confidently compete with private clubs in the north-east.”


Since 2014, Sport Aberdeen has invested roughly half a million pounds across all four 18-hole courses. This has included substantial fairway renovation work, bunker repair and renewal, tee levelling and path reconstruction. In the case of the MacKenzie Championship and Pines Courses at Hazlehead Park, drainage works and, thanks to Aberdeen City Council, an extensive tree thinning programme have also been carried out.


The work on the MacKenzie Championships course in particular has been extensive, with an investment of £250,000 made to completely renew the drainage, which helped stave of the expected closure of the course.


In addition, the maintenance programme has been completely restructured to bring it more closely in line with modern greenkeeping techniques, whilst Sport Aberdeen’s partner contractor has invested £750,000 in equipment, which has made a huge difference.


A number of changes have been made to the operation and arrangements for booking to ensure customers comply with the return to golf guidelines.


These are primarily focussed around two areas; ensuring that physical distancing rules are adhered to, including increased spacing of tee times and allowing groups of up to four golfers, with a maximum of three households be represented in any one group; and general hygiene, including the regular use of hand sanitiser, no sharing of equipment, no bunker rakes or touching of flag poles.


A team of marshals are present on the courses to support golfers in following the new guidelines, ensuring everyone can get the most out of golf in Aberdeen.


Dawson continued: “Feedback from golfers using all of our courses confirms that we are getting it right and the positive reaction has been fantastic over the last few weeks. We have been absolutely delighted to see our valued members and customers back out on the greens and we look forward to continuing to create opportunities for more people to enjoy sport in Aberdeen.


“The incredible loyalty and backing we have received from everyone throughout lockdown, and upon reopening certain provisions, has cemented Sport Aberdeen’s place at the heart of community activity in the Granite City and I would like to thank each and every person who has, and continues to support the charity.”

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #312 on: October 06, 2020, 12:57:21 PM »
https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/scottish-golf-clubs-urged-be-accurate-membership-numbers-2994476



Scottish golf clubs urged to be 'accurate' with membership numbers
By Martin Dempster
Tuesday, 6th October 2020


The plea has been made by Scottish Golf's chief operating officer, Karin Sharp, as the deadline looms for affiliated clubs to report annual membership figures to the governing body.


That figure determines how much Scottish Golf is due by each club through the £14.50 affiliation fee paid by club golfers as part of their annual subscription.


A number of clubs around the country have enjoyed a rise in membership this year, including Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth, where over 300 new members have been signed up.


That boost alone should see an additional £4,000 go into Scottish Golf's coffers, with Sharp stressing the importance of "accurate" recording in an email to clubs.


"As we use the information to inform progress against investment targets and to track membership in golf clubs, it is important that the return is accurate and includes all adult members with playing rights, irrespective of how often they access the club and/or whether they have an official handicap," she said.


"Whilst the per capita fee does not apply to your junior members or social members, we do ask for accurate data on both these categories as we use this for other purposes, most significantly in applications we make to external funders for support of the junior game.


"We are aware that there have previously been incidences of clubs failing to submit accurate or consistent data which has a direct impact on our ability to invest in the game across Scotland.


"Therefore, we ask that you ensure the accuracy of your return and please be aware that we will be checking returns against those previously submitted and other publicly available data.


"We are not looking to penalise past errors in submission, but we are looking to ensure accuracy in these and future returns. Tracking and understanding the membership landscape across Scotland is critical at a time when we are working hard to position the importance of the industry to the economy."


After golf clubs went into lockdown earlier in the year, Scottish Golf came up with a support package worth more than £575,000 by way of a refund or a rebate on affiliation fees for last year.


Now the governing body is considering offering further help to clubs hit by Covid-19 through "extended" payment plans for this year.


"Whilst we know that a number of clubs have benefitted from increased membership following the easing of lockdown, we are also acutely aware of the perilous financial situation a large number of clubs are still facing with the continued uncertainty caused by Covid-19," added Sharp.


"Therefore, we are providing all clubs with the option to spread payments over a longer-term than previously has been offered."


“To assist clubs with planning and potentially to access extended payment plan terms, we are looking for all club data to be returned no later than 14 October 2020.


"Payment plans will be offered once the returns have been validated and the invoice issued, which will commence from November 2020 if the submission deadline has been met."


Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #313 on: October 06, 2020, 09:14:36 PM »
I know for a fact that many clubs (not just in Scotland) do not necessarily include “flexible” members in the figures submitted to their governing bodies.


These are the golfers who purchase a membership based on points which are then redeemed for rounds of golf. These memberships are either administered directly by the club or via a third party such as PlayMoreGolf.


It is common practice for the national levy to be applied only if the member requires a handicap to be administered by the club. Purely social golfers under these flexible schemes are often left out of the official figures completely.


Also, I’m a member of three golf clubs. My understanding is that I should pay the levy at all of them.  Two have never asked me for it - presumably on the basis that my handicap is elsewhere.




Niall C

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #314 on: October 07, 2020, 02:14:55 AM »
https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/scottish-golf-clubs-urged-be-accurate-membership-numbers-2994476



Scottish golf clubs urged to be 'accurate' with membership numbers
By Martin Dempster
Tuesday, 6th October 2020


The plea has been made by Scottish Golf's chief operating officer, Karin Sharp, as the deadline looms for affiliated clubs to report annual membership figures to the governing body.


That figure determines how much Scottish Golf is due by each club through the £14.50 affiliation fee paid by club golfers as part of their annual subscription.


A number of clubs around the country have enjoyed a rise in membership this year, including Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth, where over 300 new members have been signed up.


That boost alone should see an additional £4,000 go into Scottish Golf's coffers, with Sharp stressing the importance of "accurate" recording in an email to clubs.


"As we use the information to inform progress against investment targets and to track membership in golf clubs, it is important that the return is accurate and includes all adult members with playing rights, irrespective of how often they access the club and/or whether they have an official handicap," she said.


"Whilst the per capita fee does not apply to your junior members or social members, we do ask for accurate data on both these categories as we use this for other purposes, most significantly in applications we make to external funders for support of the junior game.


"We are aware that there have previously been incidences of clubs failing to submit accurate or consistent data which has a direct impact on our ability to invest in the game across Scotland.


"Therefore, we ask that you ensure the accuracy of your return and please be aware that we will be checking returns against those previously submitted and other publicly available data.


"We are not looking to penalise past errors in submission, but we are looking to ensure accuracy in these and future returns. Tracking and understanding the membership landscape across Scotland is critical at a time when we are working hard to position the importance of the industry to the economy."


After golf clubs went into lockdown earlier in the year, Scottish Golf came up with a support package worth more than £575,000 by way of a refund or a rebate on affiliation fees for last year.


Now the governing body is considering offering further help to clubs hit by Covid-19 through "extended" payment plans for this year.


"Whilst we know that a number of clubs have benefitted from increased membership following the easing of lockdown, we are also acutely aware of the perilous financial situation a large number of clubs are still facing with the continued uncertainty caused by Covid-19," added Sharp.


"Therefore, we are providing all clubs with the option to spread payments over a longer-term than previously has been offered."


“To assist clubs with planning and potentially to access extended payment plan terms, we are looking for all club data to be returned no later than 14 October 2020.


"Payment plans will be offered once the returns have been validated and the invoice issued, which will commence from November 2020 if the submission deadline has been met."

Brian

I'm always interested to dip into this thread as its a running commentary of the state of the game in Scotland. However is it not about time to change the thread heading ? After all if the game had been sinking as fast as claimed when you first posted then it would be all over by now. Maybe something a bit less sensationalist might be better.

Niall

Mark Pearce

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #315 on: October 07, 2020, 07:39:08 AM »
Not Scotland but not a long way away.  The Northumberland GC starting sheet for this Saturday (only an extra medal for most as it's the final of our monthly spoons and you have to have won a spoon to compete in that) has one slot (as in, for one individual) free between 7.30 and 2.30.  The slot that's free is because of a drop out last night for Covid reasons.  I have never seen the starting sheet so full.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #316 on: October 07, 2020, 08:54:30 AM »
At this rate people will soon start saying we need more golf courses  :)
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #317 on: November 17, 2020, 03:04:14 AM »

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #318 on: November 19, 2020, 02:47:08 AM »
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18882508.glasgow-golf-course-become-urban-farm/


But perhaps the most visible sign of the re-greening of Glasgow could be the city’s first urban farm. GCFN and its partner organisations want to use some of the National Lottery money to convert one of the five municipal golf courses currently under threat of closure to realise this. They are Linn Park, Lethamhill, Littlehill, Alexandra Park and Ruchill.

“We urgently need to upscale urban food production in the city and localise our food systems,” said Mordin. “If we can persuade Glasgow City Council to release one of the surplus golf courses it would be just amazing because it would enable large-scale urban agriculture and vegetable growing, facilitate training and apprenticeships in animal husbandry, beekeeping, vegetable growing and so forth. How exciting if – ahead of COP26 – the city can boast that it has its first urban farm.”

Niall C

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #319 on: November 19, 2020, 08:20:49 AM »

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18882508.glasgow-golf-course-become-urban-farm/


But perhaps the most visible sign of the re-greening of Glasgow could be the city’s first urban farm. GCFN and its partner organisations want to use some of the National Lottery money to convert one of the five municipal golf courses currently under threat of closure to realise this. They are Linn Park, Lethamhill, Littlehill, Alexandra Park and Ruchill.

“We urgently need to upscale urban food production in the city and localise our food systems,” said Mordin. “If we can persuade Glasgow City Council to release one of the surplus golf courses it would be just amazing because it would enable large-scale urban agriculture and vegetable growing, facilitate training and apprenticeships in animal husbandry, beekeeping, vegetable growing and so forth. How exciting if – ahead of COP26 – the city can boast that it has its first urban farm.”

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #320 on: November 19, 2020, 08:31:20 AM »
Sad to see Letham Grange go.


Have many good memories of that place. It really was the “Augusta” of Scotland for us when it opened. Seems very choked by trees now, though.

Ben Stephens

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #321 on: November 19, 2020, 08:57:48 AM »
Sad to see Letham Grange go.


Have many good memories of that place. It really was the “Augusta” of Scotland for us when it opened. Seems very choked by trees now, though.


Agree with you - I was fortunate to play the course in the late 90's its a shame that the owner now has different aspirations for the site.


Doc likes Letham Grange

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #322 on: November 20, 2020, 04:18:51 AM »
Ben


I was a member there for a couple of years. The second 18 was nothing to write home about, but the Old Course was very fine of its type. I first played it back in 1987 and it was the most exciting course I had yet seen in my young life (17 then). The 'Augusta of Scotland' tag was well earned and the stretch of holes from 8-10 through the rhododendron groves and over the lakes was purposely built to mimic Augusta in style.


I enjoyed my time there, especially the long hazy summer evenings, when I would play by myself until the dusk descended. I never thought that the last time I drove out of the gates would be the last time I played there. It was always a course I wanted to go back to. I'm very sad to hear it is now consigned to history. It deserves better than that, but suffered from having a complete wanker for an owner. I'd like to slap him hard.
2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #323 on: November 20, 2020, 05:20:19 AM »
Ben


I was a member there for a couple of years. The second 18 was nothing to write home about, but the Old Course was very fine of its type. I first played it back in 1987 and it was the most exciting course I had yet seen in my young life (17 then). The 'Augusta of Scotland' tag was well earned and the stretch of holes from 8-10 through the rhododendron groves and over the lakes was purposely built to mimic Augusta in style.


I enjoyed my time there, especially the long hazy summer evenings, when I would play by myself until the dusk descended. I never thought that the last time I drove out of the gates would be the last time I played there. It was always a course I wanted to go back to. I'm very sad to hear it is now consigned to history. It deserves better than that, but suffered from having a complete wanker for an owner. I'd like to slap him hard.


Robin,


You remember that that stretch from 8-10 was originally 8, 11, 12?


When they built the new course, they commandeered the old 9th and 10th through the trees and built a new 16 & 17 for The Old Course... I liked the original routing best.


I’d agree with you that in 1987, it was the most exciting course I’d seen also. I’d already played Carnoustie, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay and other links courses but they were my “normal”. At that time, American style golf with water hazards was a luxury for us. Shows how perceptions change.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 05:40:40 AM by Ally Mcintosh »

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #324 on: November 20, 2020, 05:43:03 AM »
Ally


The switch over had happened before I got there, but I did occasionally play the old sequence when it was quiet. The transferred holes were very pretty, very narrow and very close to the new houses. I liked them, but didn't mind the two replacement holes (16 and 17).


The back nine was consistently good. Perhaps Donald Steel's best work of that era.
2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

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