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Only a matter of months after being saved from closure, two popular Scottish municipal courses find themselves facing up to that prospect once again.

The nine-hole and 18-hole track at Caird Park in Dundee were granted a stay of execution in February.

This followed proposals to close the last remaining municipal courses in Scotland’s fourth biggest city were tabled as part of a raft of proposals to help the council plug a £24million financial black hole.

At the time, the Scottish Scottish National Party’s leader in Dundee, John Alexander, said: “The budget is only for the year 2024/25 as we only receive year-to-year funding from Scottish Government so to be fair, that is always the case.

“We don’t know what the budget position will be in 12 months’ time and with the added uncertainty of the general election, it’s all up in the air.

“I can’t guarantee anything budget-wise because 83% is decided at a national level.”

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Now, the closure of Caird Park courses is back on the agenda with a six-week public consultation on its future under way.

As first reported by The Courier, a statement from the local authority read: “Dundee City Council has taken a decision to consult on the future of Caird Park Golf Course as part of wider changes to leisure and culture services in the city.

“Both the Council and Leisure and Culture Dundee [LACD] face significant financial challenges, and LACD has therefore proposed that it ceases operating the course.”

The consultation is set to explore different options for the future of the facility, including: LACD continuing to operate the golf course but membership and round fees increasing to cover the full operating costs .

Currently, each round played at Caird Park is being subsidised to the tune of £9.10. The proposal would save £335,000 a year, which equates to almost one-third of Leisure and Culture Dundee’s budget shortfall.

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As of March 2024, there was an average of 1,188 members during the year, and there were 7,584 nine-hole and 28,798 18-hole rounds played in 2023/24.

Memberships are up 4.7% on the previous year but rounds played on both courses are down 7.5% (nine holes) and 1.6% (18 holes).

A community asset transfer has also been suggested, with the course becoming community owned and run, with an alternative operator taking on the running of the course another proposal on the table.

The prospect of closing the courses and returning Caird Park to open space that would be managed by the council is a fourth option.

“Before any final decisions are taken, it is essential that the Council and Leisure and Culture Dundee understand what implementing these proposals would mean for users and the wider community,” added the statement.

Full details can be viewed here.

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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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