Dundee golfers believe they are being relegated to the bottom of a waiting list as they try to renew their membership at one of the only public courses in the city.
Leisure and Culture Dundee has claimed it has been forced to temporarily cap the number of members at Caird Park due to “unprecedented” demand.
However, the move has left some at the bottom of a waiting list and fearful they won’t regain their membership status this year.
‘I think it’s ridiculous’
Ian Whitelaw, a taxi driver who has spent 20 years playing at Caird Park, cancelled his direct debit for membership over the winter months because of the lockdown and the financial cost.
But now, without a membership over the summer, he could be forced to spend up to £30 per round as a guest if he wants to get back on the greens.
“I have been told I will have to join a waiting list,” he said.
“I think it’s ridiculous that this is happening. It’s also happened to a lot of other former members I have spoken to and we are not at all happy about it.
“They are trying to tell us that Caird Park is oversubscribed but I find that astonishing.
“It has also been very hard to actually try and find out what is happening. There’s a lot of anger – surely there’s a way that people who have been members for many years can actually get their membership back without having to go on a long list.”
Paying as a result of Camperdown closure
Another Caird Park golfer, Chris Elder, believes ex-members and those looking for reasonably priced golf are now feeling the effects of the decision to close Camperdown Golf Course.
Councillors took the decision last year to close the course to save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and, although there had been various last-ditch attempts to save the 6548-yard offering, none came to fruition.
Mr Elder said: “Many members who tried to re-join after the Covid-19 pandemic have been told the golf course is closed to new and previous members who have been a member for the past 20 years.
“Surely all residents in Dundee should be able to register for a membership and tee slots allocated on a first come basis.
“Dundee residents should not be excluded from being a member of a facility for the people of the city.
“The council closed down Camperdown golf course and now Dundee golfers are being excluded from playing reasonably priced golf.
“The authorities must change this as soon as possible so any golfer in the city and everyone can apply for a membership.
“If this is not going to be the case then a rethink on opening Camperdown back up for golfers in the city should be looked at seriously.”
A spokesman for Leisure and Culture Dundee said: “Caird Park, like all golf courses, has seen unprecedented demand during the pandemic as golf has been one of the very few activities that has been allowed to continue.
“To ensure all golfers can secure a tee time, we have had to temporarily cap the number of members. The membership numbers, alongside daily ballot demand, is under constant analysis and additional memberships will be released for sale as and when the numbers allow.”