LETTER: Golf club is vital to area’s prosperity

I write regarding your editorial comment (The Galloway Gazette, November 9) about the cash crisis at Newton Stewart golf course and, in particular, the charge that it is and has been living beyond its means.

I was, over a number of years, secretary, treasurer and captain and, with Stewart McGregor, heavily involved in the construction of the new nine holes, on which work commenced in August 1992. I would, therefore, like to make the following points.

First, no officials from the club have ever received any renumeration for giving their time and effort. This is unlike a huge majority of golf clubs in Scotland.

Secondly, there are only two members of the greenkeeping staff when there should be no fewer than three, as in similar 18-hole courses covering such a large area, but that was due to cutbacks in expenditure.

Thirdly, when the course was extended, it was completed on a very tight budget. The bulk of the work was undertaken by Wigtown District Council Direct Services as the club could not afford services of any company involved in golf course construction. The exception was Stewart & Co, which specialised in preparation of the greens as we felt that work to be very important.

It is important for this area that an 18-hole golf course is retained if visitors are to be attracted to the benefit of local shops and hotels and other businesses.

Hopefully, with the aid of Dumfries and Galloway Council through its planning committee, a solution can be found thus allowing the survival of a club formed in 1896.

Jack Tait,

3 Elm Grove, 
Newton Stewart.