Players left out in cold as big freeze bites hard

FOR the second winter running, it looks as though Scotland's golf clubs are going to be badly hit by the cold snap, depriving many of much-needed revenue at this time of the year.

Even East Lothian, normally a sanctuary when other parts of the country are under snow or water, suffered badly 12 months ago and the closures have come even earlier this time around. Clubs, of course, are helpless with such heavy snowfalls and can't suddenly be opened through Recreation Park-style clearances, due to the scale of the task that would require.

Members just have to grin and bear it, keeping their games ticking over at the excellent array of driving ranges that have been built up around the country over the past decade or so. For every golfer that puts his or clubs away for the winter, there is at least one out there who wants to play all year round and that has been largely possible for as long as I can remember. It is worrying to think we're going to have to get used to all that white stuff on a regular basis and, if that is the case, watch out for something more alarming than 'course closed' signs appearing around the country.