THE £200,000 sale of a public golf course – part of plans to “reimagine” the future of the game in Glasgow – can go-ahead.

City councillors have approved the terms of a deal between the council and the R&A’s commercial arm.

The R&A, the game’s governing body, will also pay £25,000 to secure the option to buy another public course, Littlehill.

It plans to invest £10m in a ‘Swing Zone’ at Lethamhill, which could include a pitch and putt course, floodlit driving range and indoor golf simulator.

READ MORE: Public golf course sale set to be agreed as £10m 'Swing Zone' plans revealed

Billy Garrett, from Glasgow Life, the council’s sporting and cultural arm, said the R&A is taking a “first foray into operational management” as they try “to address the national decline in golf”.

He said: “Golf in Scotland has lost 16,000 registered users in the last 16 years.

“In Scotland in the last 18 months, I think 20 golf facilities have closed.

“This project is part of an attempt to address that. It is about reimagining golf, build a new demographic and change perceptions – and they have chosen the north east of Glasgow to do that.”

He added: “I might agree that these kinds of innovative partnerships are the only way they are going to be able to retain any kind of urban golf service.

“It will be a different shape, a different scale, but that is really the only future I think.”

Glasgow City Council will have the first right of refusal on any future sale for 25 years.

A council officer said the scheme was a “really exciting prospect” and “fundamentally about making golf more accessible to everybody”, including schools.

Shorter format golf courses, an adventure/activity centre and adventure golf putting area are being proposed for Lethamhill.

Other ideas include a sports related retail unit, changing facilities, a café/restaurant, gym, nursery and children’s movie theatre.

Plans for Littlehill are “not as well-developed” but it is being considered as a green keeping academy.

The council is looking for alternative solutions for its six public courses due to declining participation and a “challenging” financial climate.

Mr Garrett said work had been put on hold because of the pandemic but proposals would be developed and brought back to councillors.

The council officer said there had been meetings with the Seven Lochs Park project team on how the Lethamhill development could “integrate” with its work. There are lots of “exciting developments”, he said.