Memo to councils across the country: show your golf courses some love and you’ll reap the benefits.
The Dalmuir course in Clydebank is proof.
Ear-marked for closure multiple times in the last five years, the municipal track, near Glasgow, is thriving thanks to support from West Dunbartonshire Council.
The authority, which has battled to balance the books in recent years, resisted the temptation to close the 18-hole course in 2018 – a move that would have saved around a quarter of a million pounds.
As first reported by the Clydebank Post, that prospect was met with opposition by the clubs who use the course and, in response, the council invested in a membership drive.
The efforts have paid off handsomely. Between April and October last year, there were more than 5,800 visitor rounds on the course, up from 3,365 in 2018.
Memberships have also shot up, with a dependence on public funds having been slashed significantly. In 2019/20, Dalmuir raised just £57,000 in income, requiring £130,000 from council coffers.
It is on track to raise £155,000 in income this year, at the cost of only £47,000 to the taxpayer.
Speaking to the Clydebank Post, Councillor Lawrence O’Neill said: “We have almost doubled the membership numbers. During lockdown, people needed to be outdoors and exercise outdoors.
“We are more than happy that this work continues, that the golf course is saved and continues to be affordable and is attractive to members of the public. And long may it continue.”