Ambitious plans to transform a Glasgow golf course into a community facility in an attempt to make the sport thrive in Scotland have been approved.

The R&A has now secured planning permission from Glasgow City Council to create a nine-hole course at Lethamhill in the north-east of the city which they hope will act as a “new pathway” for those looking to take up golf. 

A putting green, short-game area, adventure golf and a floodlit driving range will also allow visitors to enjoy a wide range of golf activities, including shorter forms of the game. 

Ownership of the site was transferred to The R&A by Glasgow City Council following an agreement between the two organisations last week.

Preparations for the construction of the venue will begin this week. 

READ MOREGlasgow council sold Lethamhill to R&A for less than city house price average

Glasgow Times:

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said:  “This is a vital step towards realising our ambition of creating a new golf facility which presents the sport in a fun, affordable and accessible way for the enjoyment of families, young people and community groups living locally. 

“We are hugely excited about the potential of this project and will be making a significant investment in transforming the existing course at Lethamhill into a first-class venue where everyone feels welcome, no matter their age or ability, in which they can have fun exploring golf’s many different formats and connect with nature, outdoors in the fresh air. 

“We believe that golf can be and should be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and so this is a real opportunity for us to break down some of the unhelpful perceptions and barriers that exist and revitalise the way in which the sport is offered so that everyone feels they have the freedom to play and enjoy its many health and social benefits.”  

The R&A believe that the development at Lethamhill will make golf more accessible, appealing and inclusive with the sport thriving 50 years from now.

They say that golf started in Scotland as a game for the people but is also a key component of community life. 

The organisation sees the future of golf being driven by a new model and a “new pathway” into the sport which is always open. 

READ MORE: The R&A is set to buy a public golf course from the council

Lethamhill was first laid out by Glasgow professional David Adams and has been in play since 1907 when the Alexandra Club – previously based nearby at the Alexandra Park – took a 10-year lease of 90 acres of the Lethamhill Estate from the Glasgow Corporation. 

Golfers will now be provided with alternative arrangements by Glasgow Life to continue playing golf at nearby Littlehill until construction is completed and it is hoped that the new facility will open in the summer of 2023.

Councillor David McDonald, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and chairman of Glasgow Life, said: “Having worked closely with The R&A over the last year to understand and help develop their plans for the new facility at Lethamhill Golf Course, we are thrilled that construction is now set to get underway. 

“The new offering will ensure the space at Lethamhill is used to its full capacity, offering activities for everyone from the individual golfer, through to families with young children. We’re looking forward to seeing the progression of the project, and continuing to work with The R&A to ensure the new facility provides key benefits to the local community.”

The agreement will also enable the Seven Lochs Partnership, which overseas the Seven Lochs Wetland Park that includes nearby Hogganfield Loch, to use the facility as its base and hub for the delivery of heritage learning and engagement activities, a free park events programme, volunteering and employability training linked to park management and maintenance. 

Access to nearby Hogganfield Loch for leisure activities will be maintained for local users throughout the period of construction.   

READ MORE: The R&A unveils 'fun and affordable' golf venue plan for Lethamhill course

Glasgow Times:

Councillor Maureen Burke, chairwoman of the Seven Lochs Partnership, said: “I am delighted to be part of this new partnership, which will bring much needed investment to the local area, creating new jobs and attracting visitors from across the city and beyond.

“As well as a fantastic new golf facility, the new centre will allow the Seven Lochs team to work with local schools to deliver outdoor learning, offer volunteering opportunities and employability training linked to park maintenance, and support a range of outdoor activities that help improve health and well-being in the local community.”