Golf Struggles In Scotland

Golf Clubs in financial crisis isn’t just a US phenomenon. Declining membership and the recession have also hit golf in its homeland:

In the past, the majority of clubs in the Lothians, which has more golf courses than anywhere else in Scotland, had long waiting lists and talk of financial troubles was as rare as a sighting of Tiger Woods since his world was turned upside down.

But, as the sport continues to suffer from the recession – in Scotland alone membership levels are down 2.6 per cent in the men’s game and 4.6 per cent in the women’s game – even some of the more established clubs in the Capital and surrounding areas are feeling the pinch.

They have been forced to put up huge banners in prominent positions on clubhouses to advertise memberships, have held Open Days to let potential members see what’s on offer and, in some cases, have even scrapped their joining fee.

Desperate times have called for desperate measures and one club has even dispensed with both its professional and secretary in a bid to cut costs.

But Scots aren’t giving up their golf altogether. Play at municipal courses is up.

That mirrors my own experience. Several years ago, I decided that I couldn’t play enough golf to justify my private club membership and quit the club. Now, I play on the dozens of public and municipal courses in Southeastern Michigan, and am enjoying the variety. In the meantime, my former Club has gone bankrupt and been bought out.



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1 thought on “Golf Struggles In Scotland”

  1. I followed the link and some of the local’s comments about the article were pretty funny.

    One of the courses mentioned has an annual membership fee in US Dollars of $888 and many of the readers indicated that the cost put it out of reach for them.  If they only knew what US courses hit up their members for, they might realize they have a good thing going.

    I agree with Golf Blogger that if one’s primary interest is golf and not the club social scene, a membership makes little sense.  The Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area has numerous excellent daily-fee courses within 30 minutes and they all offer incredible deals if you shop around.  Getting tied to one course, paying an initiation fee, paying monthly dues, covering a food minimum – who needs it.


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