An ambitious blueprint designed to secure the future of Perth’s Craigie Hill Golf Club has been approved – and if it's successful, it could offer a model for struggling Scots clubs.
At a well-attended extraordinary general meeting, members voted overwhelmingly in favour of working towards the creation of a nine-hole course.
The green light was also given to sound out businesses keen to press ahead with redevelopment plans for the lower slopes at The Hill, which dates back to 1911.
A “Transition Fund” is being created to cover debts and on-going running costs, and to preserve the current 18-hole set-up and clubhouse facility for a period of up to five years.
“We’re delighted that the members have wholeheartedly supported the proposals to maintain the course in its current configuration for the next few years and allow the board to work towards the transition to the city’s first nine hole course, complete with a new clubhouse, practice facilities and adjacent parking,” said club captain Crawford Conochie.
“The resounding vote provides much-needed security going forward as the board seeks to ensure the long-term viability of a historic golf club in the heart of the city.
“This is an exciting opportunity and ensures that Craigie Hill will survive as a golf club long into the future.
INTRODUCING... THE BEST OFFER IN GOLF!
“Now we are confident of retaining current members and attracting new faces for the 2020 season, with membership fees of £490 and the Scottish Golf levy.
“The Transition Fund will be launched shortly, enabling us to retain control going forward.
“It is designed to generate £300,000, with members being given an opportunity to crowdfund a loan to the club, with the benefit of a guaranteed 4% return on their investment.
“At an agreed date, our members will be able to commit £1000 per unit, with their initial investment and interest locked in until our chosen development partner can successfully navigate the planning process.
“This safeguards the immediate future of the club and we can actively seek out a developer from a solid financial base.”
While several Scottish golf courses have folded recently, nine-hole tracks are proving increasingly popular with golfers struggling to commit the time required to get round 18 holes.
The Hill board believes a mostly flat par 34/68, south-facing, nine-hole course, with multiple tee options, will prove sustainable and offer value for money membership.