A THIRD golf club in the Lothians could be forced to shut its doors in less than 18 months if a new buyer can’t be found for Castle Park, near Gifford, writes Martin Dempster.
The 18-hole facility is believed to be facing a desperate fight for survival following the decision by its current owners to put the 165-acre development on the market.
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“There has been a little bit of interest since the club went on the market around three weeks ago but none of that has turned into an offer just yet,” past captain Colin McArthur told bunkered.co.uk.
“It’s a worrying time. There’s not enough money in the club to complete a members’ buy-out so we are just hoping that somebody comes in.
“The current owners have been running the club for the last nine years or so but they are based in Cumbria and in their 70s so, understandably, they are ready for retirement.
“From what I gather, they would definitely prefer to sell to someone who will continue to run it as a golf club.
“But they want out and I just have a sneaky feeling that if it doesn’t sell within three months then a local farmer might step in as it is a great piece of land. That, of course, would be a huge shame and hopefully it doesn’t come to that.”
One of 22 courses in East Lothian, Castle Park opened in 1994 as a nine-holer but then expanded to 18 holes. It staged the Lothians Team Tournament in 2008 then, two years later, qualifying for the Lothians Championship.
“We’re a family friendly club, with a great atmosphere, and we’ve constantly made efforts to improve our course,” added McArthur.
Once popular, Lothianburn was forced to give up its fight for survival in the face of dropping golf membership in September 2013 before near neighbour Torphin Hill closed its doors for the last time just over a year ago.
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