Blairbeth Golf Club to shut
Debts force committee to pull the plug after 105 years
A golf club based in Fernhill is being forced to close after 105 years in existence.
Members of Blairbeth were last week told the club would cease trading today (Wednesday, October 14) due to debts in excess of £135,000.
An email went out on Thursday while golfers arriving at the clubhouse over the weekend were left stunned to see notices informing them that the last day of play was due to be Sunday (October 11).
Members have until 5pm today to clear out their lockers before the clubhouse is locked up.
Four staff employed by the club were told the news last week.
The move comes just weeks after an EGM voted to cut the course to nine holes in a desperate attempt to save money on fuel costs.
Captain Davie McKay told the Reformer this week: “We all got together on Sunday to play the ‘Snyder Cup’ between out 9.30am groups and the 12.30pm guys.
“Despite everything there was a fantastic atmosphere. There were lots and lots of tears shed from men you would not think had a tear in them.
“One older member, I could hardly look him in the eye.
“The last eight to 10 years, the club has been unsteady. I don’t think anyone could have worked any harder than myself and my vice-captain, Craig Crawford.
“We were all very upset on Sunday.”
Although the course has been plagued by rumours for the past few years, the news still came as a shock to members and staff.
One of the bar staff, Mandy Allum, described the news was “heart-breaking.”
The 42-year-old from Fernhill has worked there for nine years, and said: “I’m gutted, it’s a cracking wee club.
“It’s just horrible, I just kept thinking ‘it’s not going to shut, it will never shut’.
“When I first started in here it was so busy, but it’s just gone downhill.
“I don’t blame the committee or Davie. I feel sorry for him, he tried everything to keep it going.”
Member Phil McFarlane (74), from Rutherglen, had played at Blairbeth for 50 years, and said: “A lot of the guys are going to really miss this place.
“I actually enjoyed the nine holes because it was an easier walk, I thought it was going to be great.
“The problems have been going on for years, and last year we had 40 members walk out and that more or less settled it.”
Another member, who did not wish to be named, said the club had suffered a “slow, lingering death,” adding: “It’s very sad what’s happened.”
Rutherglen MSP James Kelly said he still retained hope the course could be saved: “This is really disappointing news about Blairbeth Golf Club.
“I know that many local golfers have a strong affection for the course.
“I enjoyed a few rounds of golf there myself as a youngster. I know the course like other courses in the area had suffered a drop off in members and the club had taken steps to try and sustain the future of the course.
“Even at this late stage, I will support and work with anyone on any plans that can be developed to save the course.”
Fond farewell Blairbeth members join together on the old first tee for the final time on Sunday