Martin Dempster: It’s not all doom and gloom in Scottish golf clubs

Clubs like Mortonhall have been bucking the trend of declining membership. Picture: Rob McDougall
Clubs like Mortonhall have been bucking the trend of declining membership. Picture: Rob McDougall
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A refreshing aspect of working on our series last week on Scottish golf clubs was discovering that, despite what some people would like us to think, it is definitely not all doom and gloom.

Clubs are indeed bucking the declining membership trend and let’s hope success stories at the likes of Mortonhall, Leven Thistle, Peebles and Broomieknowe can help inspire committees around the country. On the back of that series, it is encouraging to see that clubs are thinking outside the box in terms of membership offers, as highlighted by new packages being offered.

At Rowallan Castle, for example, a nine-hole membership can now be obtained, a development that will strike a chord with both the R&A and Scottish Golf after both organisations highlighted the importance of the game’s shorter format by introducing national nine-hole events.

West Linton, meanwhile, has come up with a weekend-only membership for people aged 35 and under after recognising the club’s current model for young adult golf was proving unsuccessful. “Everybody is scrambling to re-invent the wheel with regards to golf 
club membership and whereas we can’t do that, we can try to come up with a decent new tyre,” said club secretary Scott Mackay.

That’s the spirit.