At a special celebration Buchanan Castle Golf Club opened its new all-weather floodlit driving range, adding yet another top-class amenity to sit beside the truly outstanding Duke’s Course; the recently-refurbished and historic clubhouse; and the club’s special 9-hole Academy course.
The driving range features eight regular bays as well as a double teaching bay, complete with video system to provide an excellent coaching facility. The range also has its own washroom and internal seating area.
This is a significant move that will open both the club and the sport to more people – youngsters and adults alike.
The project came about as the result of a £93,500 grant from sportscotland’s Sports Facilities Fund – one of the first of its kind – which was matched pound for pound by Buchanan Castle. The range will now play a key role in Buchanan Castle’s active partnership with clubgolf, Scotland’s national junior golf development programme, and, to mark this development, pupils from the local Buchanan Primary School, were the first to try out the new facility.
Through its clubgolf scheme, annual Academy memberships are available for young people from just £55 per year. There are now plans to have up to 500 youngsters use the range every year. Adult Academy Membership is available for an annual cost of £225 to include a series of lessons in the first year.
As well as becoming the second golf club to earn Active Stirling’s “Chartered Club” status, Buchanan Castle was a 2010 finalist in the organisation’s “Club of the Year” Awards.
The Buchanan Castle Club sits close to the banks of Loch Lomond, less than a mile from Drymen and half an hour from Glasgow. The new range means that the Buchanan Castle Club is unique among local golf clubs in the range of facilities it now has on offer.
General Manager Janet Dawson says, “Over the past three years Buchanan Castle has been developed to an exceptionally high standard both in the clubhouse and in particular on the course. Working in partnership with sportscotland has allowed the Club to develop a facility that is second to none with the provision of the Driving Range, Academy Course and excellent practice facilities. We seek to encourage participation at all levels and to work closely with the community in liaison with Clubgolf.”
We offer membership for adults and juniors at all levels and actively seek to promote golf as a family sport. With Academy Membership we offer a pathway from complete beginner to established player within a relaxed and friendly environment.”
Speaking about what he sees as a ground-breaking project model, sportscotland’s Chief Executive Stewart Harris says, “We regularly work in partnership with local authorities but this project is a fantastic example of how we can work together with clubs to develop sport in Scotland. Buchanan Castle Golf Club’s new academy shows how a golf club can become a real asset to the community and we are delighted to invest £93,500 sportscotland Lottery funding in the project.”
“The addition of a driving range and Academy course will give golfers of all abilities the year round facilities they need to progress in the sport. The new facilities, along with the full clubgolf programme will play a key role in developing golf in the local area and we look forward to seeing more young people taking up the sport.”
This type of development is a welcome addition for clubgolf as it strives to introduce newcomers to the game.
Said clubgolf’s Central Regional Manager, Mandy Martin: “Buchanan Castle Golf Club is a great example of how partnership working can provide a facility solution to meet the needs of a growing junior section. Head Pro Keith Baxter and his team of assistants and volunteer coaches have built a sustainable junior programme, and at the same time established strong links with the local primary and secondary schools through Active Stirling and the Active Schools. sportscotland’s funding of this new practice facility will ensure this programme reaches even more local children and keep their coaching going year round.”
Buchanan Castle Club www.buchanancastlegolfclub.co.uk