We’ve known in golf that times like this were coming, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take.
Camperdown is much the better of the two public courses in Dundee as a pure test of golf. However, it’s hard to argue with the logic of Dundee City Council in determining it rather than Caird Park should be the one to close.
Simple numbers dictate. The Camperdown club has just 90 members, rounds per year have fallen more than 6000 in less than 10 years. Both those numbers are indicative of golf’s slump in participation, and the fact in Scotland we have far too many courses for the people actually playing.
The national slump and over-provision have been warned about for a decade, and it was clear that some day course closures would happen.
Sadly, municipal golf seems to be taking the hit first. Just last week Glasgow City opened a consultation about the future of four of its public courses.
The subsidy to run both Dundee city courses is eye-opening – £440,000 a year. In addition there was impending expenditure on woodland management and drainage at Camperdown, but unless they plan to let the land grow over and go wild one would imagine some of that money will still be required.
Yet reducing public golf to the one site being developed as the city’s flagship for sport, adding a driving range and restoring one of the 9-hole courses lost a couple of decades ago reduces the subsidy to £50,000 and makes sense in terms of necessary provision.
It just isn’t any consolation at all for the city’s golfers.