Global golf boom masking local problems

images-2AFTER 120 YEARS an accountant’s letter is now attached to the Edinburgh-based, Lothianburn clubhouse front door stating that the golf club is closed. Membership, which totalled over 820 in 2004, had slumped to 270 at the start of 2013. Starved of income it was no longer possible to remain open.

Further north, Perth Merchant’s GC, who play over the North Inch course is currently waiting to hear from its financial advisers on a decision whether to keep trading is a viable proposition.

So while golf is mushrooming in the likes of India, China and Vietnam aimed at capturing wealthy local grandees and travellers alike looking for new five star experiences to enjoy, the game in more grass roots destinations is suffering the age-old economic dilemma of supply outstripping demand. Continue reading

International team call up for Eakin

photoJOHN EAKIN has been selected for a World golf team to play against North America. Organised by the International Blind Golfers Association (IBGA) the tournament will pit golfers from the USA and Canada against a truly international selection with golfers coming from as far afield as Israel, Austria, Japan, South Africa, Italy, Korea and Great Britain. Continue reading

Play Away: Penha Longa, Portugal

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ROBERT TRENT JONES junior, golf architect and one never knowingly to hide his light under a bushel, said, ‘I always maintain that where great land meets great water you get great golf.’ And at Penha Longa, just 17 miles west of Lisbon, Jones has been as good as his word.

Voted as one of the top 30 courses in mainland Europe, Penha Longa has two big advantages on many of its golfing rivals situated around Lisbon: firstly, the fairways are not lined with houses as what development that has been undertaken is on a low density basis, so there are no fears of peering into someone’s back garden when that slice or hook creeps back into your game. Continue reading

Pro Shop: Come rain and shine

rain-golf1SOMETIMES playing in the rain is just unavoidable and, unlike the pros, club golfers don’t have a caddy whose job involves ensuring that both you, and your clubs, stay dry.

So should you be likely to be playing in club competitions or matches and want to combat the worst an English winter can throw at you without adversely affecting your game there are a number of items that can help you remain confident whilst those around you may be losing their head. Just always remember that the goal when playing in the rain is to not think too much about playing in the rain. Continue reading