Plans for a new community golf complex at one of five municipal courses under threat of closure in Glasgow, Scotland, have been put forward by game governing body The R&A.
It is hoped that the family-focused facility will open in the summer of 2022, providing a route into the game for newcomers from a wide variety of backgrounds. It will include a nine-hole course, a Par-3 course, putting greens, short-game area, adventure golf and a 25-bay floodlit driving range.
Additional features including a café, fitness studio, indoor simulator and movie theatre, education room and retail area are also being planned as part of a “central hub” offering views north over nearby Hogganfield Loch to the Campsie Fells and south to the City of Glasgow.
The news comes a year after Lethamhill and four other municipal courses in Glasgow were left facing the prospect of closure amid budget cuts by the city council. The R&A, which is responsible for governing the rules of golf and staging The Open competition, acquired Lethamhill in September in a deal reportedly worth about $276,000.
“We want to make golf more welcoming and inclusive for people of all ages and backgrounds and so we need to appeal to them by offering a variety of fun and affordable activities that entice more families and young people into the sport,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said.
“We are excited by the prospect of establishing a facility in the very heart of the local community in northeast Glasgow that provides an accessible pathway into golf and inspires people to get out, have fun and experience the many health benefits that playing golf with family and friends can provide.”
Lethamhill and the other affected courses – Linn Park, Littlehill, Alexandra Park and Ruchill – were operated by Glasgow Life, the cultural and sporting arm of Glasgow City Council. In collaboration with Glasgow Life, the views of local stakeholders including current golfers, community groups and elected representatives are being considered to assist in shaping the development of the facility.
Work is also being carried out with the Golf Foundation and Scottish Golf to devise future participation and education programs that use Glasgow Life’s existing Active Schools network to connect local schools with the new facility.
Councillor David McDonald, chair of Glasgow Life and deputy leader of the council, said: “The prospect of creating such a fantastic venue in what is already a well-used hub is something everyone can be very enthusiastic about, and we’re looking forward to working with The R&A and engaging with groups and clubs in the local area to develop a facility which is the first of its kind in Glasgow.”
The R&A has been working closely with the Seven Lochs Partnership and leading sustainability professionals to delivering positive environmental, health and social benefits to the local community and ensure best practice in sustainability throughout the facility.
A new network of public nature trails that link into existing walking routes of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park is being planned for use by visitors to the urban heritage and nature park, which seeks to promote health and well-being and enhance biodiversity.
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