Queen’s private Balmoral golf course opened to the public

Queen Elizabeth II presents new colours to Cameron Highlanders at Balmoral Castle in 1955.

Queen Elizabeth II presents new colours to Cameron Highlanders at Balmoral Castle in 1955.

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The Queen’s private Balmoral golf course is being opened to the public.

Normally only open to the royal family, staff and their guests, visiting golfers will now be allowed a round on the nine-hole course for £200 for four players.

The course in Aberdeenshire had been available for hire by corporate clients.

A shortage of bookings due to a downturn in the north-east’s oil and gas industry has encouraged the royal household to open it up.

The 50,000-acre estate costs up to £3million a year to run and welcomed more than 60,000 visitors last year.

Richard Gledson, estate factor, told a national newspaper: “We thought it would be a nice idea to open it up to people.

“We’re not getting as many corporate days as we had in the past because of the downturn in Aberdeen.

“We also get a lot of requests from the public who’d like to come and play at Balmoral. Effectively they’ll come on dates that were corporate days so as not to interfere with our membership.”

The course, established in 1925, is 4825 yards and par 67 for men. For women the course is 4459 yards and par 69.

The estate website states: “We have a limited number of dates and tee times available this season and the cost is £200 for up to four players per tee time.

“This entitles you to an 18-hole round of golf for a maximum of four players, score cards, use of the club cabin and parking facilities.

“Access to the grounds, gardens, exhibitions, gift shop and cafe is included.”

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