By Craig Stewart
Dollar Golf Club is closing its doors at the end of the year after the club fell into insurmountable financial trouble.
The club’s website informed members and visitors on Tuesday that ‘the Club Council could only reach the conclusion that closure at the end of this year was the only option.’
The 18-hole village golf course sat on the slopes of the Ochils and perched beneath the historic Castle Campbell has been around since the late 19th Century.
The club’s annual general meeting was held on November 18 which laid out an explanation of what is going to happen next as the club coordinates its closure, headed by the club’s council.
The announcement has come as a shock to the club’s membership of around 120.
“We, the members, knew that the finances of the Club were in difficulty but thought we had one more year to find a solution. However, without warning, on 5th November we were told the course was closing on 31st December,” said Moragh Dunning, a member of the club for over 40 years.
Dunning spoke out about her sadness following the meeting on Monday evening.
“An AGM had been called and with little fight and the merest whimper, Dollar Golf Club was no more.
I mourn its passing.”
Members have between now and the end of 2019 to play the course for the last time.
A statement on the club website explained the decision saying;
“With falling membership, not alone in Scotland, the Club has been struggling to avert closure for the past few years.
Much effort was put in to keep the Club going but it had been losing money for some time and efforts to find funding elsewhere were unsuccessful.
To meet the resultant commitments, redundancy of staff, etc, it was considered unwise to struggle on only to meet cash problems in the coming year.”
Dollar Golf Club is one of many golf clubs to fall victim in Scotland with Letham Grange Golf Club in Angus being forced to shut in October, as well as the 115-year-old, Mount Ellen Golf Club in Gartcosh, which closed in August this year.
These closures along with falling membership figures across Scotland are sure to be alarming reading for Scottish Golf, the governing body for amateur golf in Scotland.
An annual survey carried out on golf across the continent revealed Scotland lost 7,521 registered members in 2017/18, a staggering 4% of all Scottish members.
The home of golf has lost over fifty thousand members in just a decade.
The statistics in KPMG’s Golf Participation Report for Europe proved Scotland are losing more registered members year on year and the number of members lost per year has grown annually from 2014.
In 2014, Scotland had 209,812 registered club members and in only four years that number dropped to 180,281, with another large decline in membership expected in the next annual report.
The par 3 1st hole at Dollar hosts a stunning backdrop of the Castle Campbell.
As Dollar Golf Club heads into its last month of existence, a difficult road lies ahead for the members having to painfully organise the dissolution of the club.
The club’s council were re-elected by members in the second motion of the AGM and are tasked with carrying out the cessation process.