Golfers Angry After Municipal Course Introduces Membership Limit
Keen golfers across the city of Dundee have expressed concern and anger following the introduction of a cap on membership numbers at local municipal course, Caird Park, which potentially threatens their ability to play regularly this season.
Leisure and Culture Dundee, operator of the venue, has stated that the move was necessary due to the "unprecedented demand" that has been seen during the past year.
As reported by Lindsey Hamilton in The Courier, a spokesman for the operator 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."
However, some players, including former member Ian Whitelaw, who had only cancelled his direct debit a few months ago due to the cost, are disappointed that they have found themselves on an arbitrary waiting list.
“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.”
While it's encouraging that demand has led to the introduction of a temporary limit on subscribed members, there is a belief that this increased traffic has been partly caused by the recent closure of the acclaimed Camperdown Golf Course - another municipal facility in the city.
Another regular at Caird Park, Chris Elder, sees the connection.
“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.”
Municipal golf is a vital pathway into the game, as demonstrated in the Golfshake Survey article The Need To Save Municipal Golf Courses And Importance Of Driving Ranges, and we can only hope that a positive solution will be found for the golfers at Caird Park.
Perhaps, it further underlines that if these courses are properly supported and funded, they can remain key centres within their communities and the wider sport.
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