A £10MILLION golfing experience and visitor attraction is being proposed for a golf course currently owned by Glasgow City Council.
The venue at Lethamhill Golf Course would have shorter-format golf courses, a pitch-and-putt course, and a single or two-storey floodlit golf driving range.
Also proposed are various indoor facilities including an adventure/activity centre, adventure golf putting area, a sports-related retail unit, café/restaurant, gym/fitness studio, crèche/nursery, and a golf simulator/kids movie theatre.
Councillors are due to consider at a meeting on Thursday whether they should sell the course to R&A Group Services Limited, a company set up by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
A report by officials explains: “The R&A are seeking to invest £10million at Lethamhill Golf Club to create ‘The Swing Zone Glasgow’ which will represent a unique test case, and if successful, will provide the framework model for golf development to be rolled out across the UK and beyond.
“The Swing Zone is the vehicle by which the R&A will work collaboratively to make golf more accessible, appealing and inclusive to all members of society and ensure that the sport continues to thrive. The focus will be on short form golf, increased family orientation and accessibility.
“The proposed development will involve significant investment and revolutionise an existing sporting facility to create a new golfing experience and visitor attraction. This will be the first of its kind in the UK.”
Lethamhill, on Cumbernauld Road, near Hogganfield Loch is an 18-hole “pay to play” parkland golf course currently leased to and operated by Glasgow Life.
Councillors are also to decide whether R&A should be able to secure an option to buy Littlehill Golf Course, near Bishopbriggs.
Officials state: “Whilst the plans for this course [Littlehill] are not as well-developed as those at Lethamhill, the R&A are considering the suitability of the Littlehill Golf Course as a green-keeping academy.”
The report continues: “Golf provision in the city is recognised as being important in enabling people to experience the outdoors and the wider health benefits this can bring. There are, however, declining participation levels across the city (and nationally), which, when combined with a challenging financial climate and rising significant maintenance costs, present significant challenges to sustaining the provision of golf in the city.
“Through discussions with a variety of golf stakeholders, it is clear that the game of golf is in decline and in need of re-invention to attract younger participants.”
“Discussions with the R&A confirmed the need for re-invention of golf nationally (and internationally) and in large part, led to a proposal from the sport’s governing body to invest in a new golf offer in Glasgow.”
“The R&A have expressed a willingness to collaborate with Glasgow Life to incorporate the new facility within existing and new community sports programmes which will offer golf to school pupils and local groups who will derive social and health benefits from using the facility.
“The proposed facility will offer a broad range of golf activities that are affordable and accessible for new and existing golfers of all ages and abilities.”