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 “Global golf boom masking local problems”

Play Away: Penha Longa, Portugal

Golf 13

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 “Play Away: Penha Longa, Portugal”