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Club captain dismayed over Camperdown Golf Course axe

Camperdown Golf Course has been earmarked for closure.
Camperdown Golf Course has been earmarked for closure.

The captain of Camperdown Golf Club has said he feels like a “fool who has been used” after reassuring his members it was not under threat.

Ian McAlindon said rumours about the future of the club began circulating last year but he had been told its future was safe.

It emerged on Tuesday that Dundee City Council wants to close the course in an effort to save almost £400,000 a year in subsidies it pays to support golf in the city.

Council leader John  Alexander said the local authority could no longer justify supporting two municipal courses.

To offset the impact, the council will create a new nine-hole course at Caird Park, where the city’s other municipal course is located, and build a new driving range.

Mr McAlindon said: “The facts are that Caird Park have the same number of members as Camperdown. And their golf rounds have fallen just the same as all golf courses throughout Britain, apart from the elite.”

Mr McAlindon said he believes Camperdown has outperformed Caird Park since its maintenance contract was taken over by ID Verde and queried why season ticket prices were reduced if money was an issue.

Mr McAlindon added: “My own feelings are of real anger firstly as we were never contacted as a club regarding this closure issue.

“After 59 years of the club being in existence and being a rent payer I would expect a whole lot better.

“After taken over the captaincy in 2017 the committee and I have fought against the ongoing rumours saying the closure was inevitable but due to what the council told us in our meetings I backed them and told our membership on numerous occasions that not to worry.

“I feel like a fool that has been used.”

According to a report to go before the city council’s policy and resources committee on Monday “significant infrastructure works to drainage, woodland and irrigation” will be necessary to maintain playability at Camperdown.

Council leader John Alexander said efforts had been made to avoid closing the club.

He said: “We’ve explored other models, sponsorship and other sources of funding and sadly, none of them have come to anything.

“But now we are at crunch time and no politician can justify a subsidy of over £450,000 for golf, or to put it another way £9.35 for every round played.

“That’s a subsidy for the few, not the many and its not justifiable when we seek to provide library services, sports and community facilities etc.

“The reality is the choice for politicians and the public is summarised by ‘would we rather fund a library or subsidise a golf course?’

A Scottish Golf spokesman said: “Municipal courses are part of the fabric of the grassroots game in Scotland and we are supportive of any strategy that is designed to improve participation.

“The proposed creation of a nine-hole course is in keeping with the shared objective to embrace the short-form game, which is attractive to younger people, and a new driving range will help introduce more people to golf before taking to the first tee.”

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