It’s said the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, however, members of a golf club which nearly went under may well dispute that claim.
Facing serious financial difficulties, Polmont Golf Club was brought back from the brink just last month after being bought over.
Fears spread when an announcement was made online stating the facility had been forced to close its doors. Those concerns were allayed when Steve Matthews, the owner of Ordhead Limited which now owns the club, stepped in at the 11th hour along with friend and accountant Douglas Morrison to save the 118-year-old club, which has since been renamed Braes Golf Centre.
The new management duo delivered a proposal that members of the nine-hole course backed unanimously. Their plan included retaining all five members of staff, including long-serving greenkeeper John Easton, and ensuring the club honoured its debts.
Whitecross resident Steve and Douglas, of Reddingmuirhead, also want to address a slump in memberships — a total that’s fallen from around 350 to 90 in recent times — by enticing youngsters to play the game and transforming its clubhouse into a facility that can be used by community groups and the public, as well as golfers.
Flexible packages allow prospective members to join for £325 from November 2019 to February 2021, or £30-per-month. Furthermore, new machinery has been bought to cut the rough, fairways and greens, while changes have also been made to the function hall which will have its own pub and a sports-themed bar.
Steve said: “We’re here to make a difference and make this a commercially viable business. I want to see the place buzzing.”
Douglas, who runs The Brightons Inn, said: “My hope for the club is to return it back to where it was three years ago which was a course in pristine condition which attracted membership.”
Braes Golf Centre is hosting a range of upcoming events, including a fundraiser to support Ashlee Easton and her family who are trying to raise £250,000 to access life-saving treatment abroad for the 12-year-old who has battled high risk neuroblastoma since she was six.