The R&A is submitting a planning application to Glasgow City Council for the construction of a new community golf facility that it is hoped will open in the summer of 2022.
As reported in GBN last year, the project aims to redevelop the existing public course at Lethamhill to create a family-focussed venue that provides access to a nine-hole course, par-three 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 that would offer views north over nearby Hogganfield Loch to the Campsie Fells and south to the City of Glasgow.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “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.
“We are excited by the prospect of establishing a facility in the very heart of the local community in north-east 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.”
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 to create a destination that truly appeals to local people.
Work is also being carried out with the Golf Foundation and Scottish Golf to devise future participation and education programmes that use Glasgow Life’s existing Active Schools network to connect local schools with the new facility and inspire young people to experience playing golf in a fun and relaxed environment.
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, said, “This project is a great example of innovative thinking which protects and enhances resources relied on by the local communities and the whole city. It delivers an incredible facility for golfers while at the same time offering families more opportunities to discover the joy and health benefits of taking part in sport.
“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 establish clear commitments to delivering positive environmental, health and social benefits to the local community and ensure best practice in sustainability is used 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.
Councillor Maureen Burke, Chair of the Seven Lochs Partnership, said, “The R&A’s plans for Lethamhill will be a fantastic addition to the Seven Lochs Wetland Park and will help to make the park a great place to discover and explore nature on your doorstep. This is a great opportunity to show how golf can promote wider well-being and environmental benefits and we look forward to working closely with The R&A to create new habitats for wildlife, design nature trails around the golf course and develop outdoor learning activities for local schools.”