Scotland has more golf holes per head of population than almost anywhere else in the world. If the game is to continue to grow, however, and meet the demand for high quality facilities and the needs of specific groups like youngsters being introduced to the game, people increasingly able to play golf into old age, and visitors choosing the ‘Home of Golf’ for their golfing holidays, then sportscotland believes that the golf courses and related facilities must be sustainable and capable of being maintained at reasonable cost while meeting high environmental and safety standards. By identifying what needs to be done, and what it will cost to achieve this, the national facilities audit announced by sportscotland will help to ensure that longer term planning for golf in Scotland is successful.
To this end, sportscotland have commissioned Edinburgh based golf consultants MW Associates, to carry out a detailed assessment of the condition of Scotland’s golf courses.
Alastair Dempster, Chairman of sportscotland said: “Golf facilities is the second in a series of national audits we are commissioning. The purpose of the audits is to identify how far the country’s sports facilities are meeting the needs of all those who use them and how much money needs to be spent on them over the next 20 years or so to ensure that they continue to meet the ever changing needs.
“We are working closely with the Scottish Golf Union and others involved with programmes like the Scottish Junior Golf Partnership to ensure that Scotland’s golf courses, practice facilities and par 3 and pitch and putt courses will be able to cater for new golfers coming into the game as well as the hundreds of thousands of Scots who already play.”
Hamish Grey, Chief Executive, Scottish Golf Union said: “Scotland is lucky to have such fantastic golf facilities, however we must constantly review the situation if we are to maintain and grow our position. We welcome this timely study.”
The MW Associates team includes Mike Williamson (director), Paul Campbell (consultant agronomist), Ken Oliver (senior partner, Oliver and Robb architects), and Robert Price (golf researcher). According to Mike Williamson: “As well as collating a lot of existing material, we will be issuing a questionnaire in January to the clubs, local authorities and commercial operators who run Scotland’s 540 or so golf courses and 70 golf ranges. A good response to that survey will help us plan a series of follow-up site visits to a cross-section of facilities, with the emphasis on those open to all golfers.”
The report will be presented to sportscotland in the autumn of 2002.
MW Associates e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org