Fears over future of Aberdeen’s public courses

Hazelhead Gc © Djw 1

There are concerns over the future of several golf courses in Aberdeen with the city council facing up to the possibility of more than £40m worth of cuts.

A raft of cost-saving measures, designed to help plug the deficit, are expected to be put before councillors this week, with a number of organisations anxiously waiting to find out how they – and, more specifically, the grants they receive from the council – will be affected.

One such body is Sport Aberdeen, which it has been rumoured could see its funding slashed from just over £6m to £3.4m. That, in turn, could see the closure of facilities operated by the organisation, which includes several popular golf courses.

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They include the MacKenzie Championship Course at Hazlehead, designed by Alister MacKenzie and which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment, as well as Balnagask and Kings Links.

Balnagask © Djw

A source told us: “These courses are essential to the future of the sport in the north-east as they provide a quality experience at an affordable price. It’s hard to even begin to imagine how many people have taken up golf having been introduced to the sport through them. If they are forced to close because of these cuts, it will be a travesty.”

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Speaking to the Evening Express, Sport Aberdeen’s managing director, Alistair Robertson, laid bare the ramifications of the mooted funding cuts.

 “I think people are well aware that public services are under increasing pressure and that nobody wins in this situation,” he said. “However, I regret that a budget reduction of this scale would obliterate Sport Aberdeen.”

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