• The Glasgow club is one of only four Footgolf venues in Scotland
• "We'll let the members decide," said general manager Craig Bell
FOOTGOLF | HILTON PARK GC
The future of Footgolf at Hilton Park is set to be decided at the club’s AGM this month after what has been described as a ‘hugely successful’ trial period.
The 36-hole club, situated less than ten miles from Glasgow city centre, introduced the world’s fastest growing sport at the same stage last year, becoming the second club in the country after Cowal GC in Dunoon to host Footgolf as a way of bringing in more revenue to the club.
Since then, Palacerigg in Cumbernauld and Roodlea in Ayrshire have been added to the sport’s portfolio of courses in Scotland, with more in the east of the country set to be in the pipeline for 2016. But for Footgolf to continue at Hilton Park into next year – it’s currently closed for winter until March 31 – it is a decision that will rest entirely with the club’s members.
"We’ll let the members decide whether they want it to continue or not" - Craig Bell
“We agreed to introduce it this year on a trial basis and it’s been hugely successful,” said Hilton Park general manager Craig Bell. “At the end of the day, we’re a golf club first and foremost and we slot Footgolf in when we can. It was agreed that we’d have it on after 3pm on either a Saturday or Sunday each weekend, assuming the Allander Course was available and not being used for a competition.
“The members have been very inquisitive, obviously, but the great majority understand why it’s being done and it hasn’t inconvenienced them. All the facts and figures will be put in front of the members in terms of how much money has been brought in, costs and any other issues associated with operating it this season and we’ll let the members decide whether they want it to continue or not.”
Someone who does want to see the sport continue at Hilton Park though is UK Footgolf’s Scotland sales director Paul Doherty, who says he doesn’t know of many golf clubs throughout the UK that have introduced Footgolf and found it to be unsuccessful.
“I think they’d be silly not to continue because they’re making good money out of it, but obviously I understand that they need to keep their members happy, just like all golf clubs,” he said. “From what I’ve heard, there haven’t been many issues among members – although there will be some who won’t be happy just like at any golf club – but it’s brought them in a good revenue stream and, as far as I’m aware, they’ll be continuing with it next year.
“I don’t think there are any places in the UK that have taken Footgolf on then decided that it’s not worthwhile. I’m sure they have 80-100 players every weekend coming up to play it and with them having two courses, I really don’t see it being too much of an issue.”
If Footgolf is continued, the amount of repeat business Craig has observed at the club means a door could be opened for a possible Footgolf-specific membership – but says whatever its fate, the club will cope with the decision just fine.
“Membership could be a possibility,” said Craig. “The problem is though, I doubt we’d change the hours that we offer it so it might be difficult to offer one on the basis that times of play are restricted. It’s really up to the members to decide. If they go for it again, fine, but if they don’t, we’ll live with the decision."
Footgolf :: Would you embrace it?
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