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Memo to councils across the country: show your golf courses some love and you’ll reap the benefits.

The Dalmuir course in Clydebank is proof.

Ear-marked for closure multiple times in the last five years, the municipal track, near Glasgow, is thriving thanks to support from West Dunbartonshire Council.

The authority, which has battled to balance the books in recent years, resisted the temptation to close the 18-hole course in 2018 – a move that would have saved around a quarter of a million pounds.

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As first reported by the Clydebank Post, that prospect was met with opposition by the clubs who use the course and, in response, the council invested in a membership drive.

The efforts have paid off handsomely. Between April and October last year, there were more than 5,800 visitor rounds on the course, up from 3,365 in 2018.

Memberships have also shot up, with a dependence on public funds having been slashed significantly. In 2019/20, Dalmuir raised just £57,000 in income, requiring £130,000 from council coffers. 

It is on track to raise £155,000 in income this year, at the cost of only £47,000 to the taxpayer.

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Speaking to the Clydebank Post, Councillor Lawrence O’Neill said: “We have almost doubled the membership numbers. During lockdown, people needed to be outdoors and exercise outdoors.

“We are more than happy that this work continues, that the golf course is saved and continues to be affordable and is attractive to members of the public. And long may it continue.”

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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