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A prominent MSP has called on Glasgow City Council to reconsider its much-mooted plans to shut five of the six municipal golf courses it operates.

James Kelly, a Labour MSP for Glasgow, branded the proposed closures an “absolute disgrace” and warned the SNP-led city council that they would be making “a huge mistake” in following through with the plans.

We reported last week that Littlehill, Lethamhill and Linn Park, as well as Ruchill and Alexandra Park, have been earmarked for closure as part of a plan to plug a so-called financial “black hole”.

Only the nine-hole layout at Knightswood is likely to be saved.

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The proposals are expected to be laid-out at a budget meeting on February 20 and follow a public consultation into the future of the layouts carried out by city officials last summer.

It has been suggested that losing these five courses could save upwards of £500,000 as the city looks to implement £50million worth of cost-cutting measures.

However, Mr Kelly has warned against closing the courses, particularly so soon after Glasgow staged hugely successful editions of both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.


“Both of those events were great for the city and people turned out in their droves to watch them,” he told “However, the clear message from the authorities responsible for delivering them was about creating lasting, tangible legacies from them for the betterment of sport in the city and beyond.

“We were told that they shouldn’t just be about the events but should be about increasing participation long after they’ve finished, which, in turns, feeds into policy objectives, such as tackling obesity and improving the city and country’s overall physical and mental health and well-being.

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“To propose the closure of five of the city’s golf courses so soon after both of these events send an absolutely terrible message.”

Instead, Mr Kelly believes that the council should be exploring alternative options, such as increasing investment in the facilities to make them more attractive to golfers and would-be golfers, or selling them to other golf operators to continue them as going concerns.

REVIEW – TAYLORMADE SIM vs SIM MAX understands that one high-profile Glasgow golf club held a meeting with city councillors recently in which it laid out “serious proposals” designed to save the courses. Those plans were not taken forward by the council.

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“I’m well aware that golf has had its challenges in recent years,” added Mr Kelly. “However, all six of these courses have important roles to play in their local communities and, rather than throwing in the towel on them, the city council should be doing more to get people playing them.”

Mr Kelly, who has previously raised the matter with the First Minister at First Minister’s Questions, said that he would continue to lobby at Holyrood for the closure proposals to be scrapped. has approached Glasgow City Council for comment.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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