Putting Community First
The running of the Oatridge Golf Course at the Scotland’s Rural College at Ecclesmachan, near Uphall in West Lothian, has transferred to the Binny Golf Club.
The Binny Club, which has been based on the course since 2002, took up the running of the course on 1 April 2020. This has ensured the continuation of the well-used community golf course, against the recent trend of golf courses closing.
SRUC has agreed to an initial deal lasting five years which will see the Binny Golf Club lease the course and clubhouse from the college. To help the Binny Golf Club, SRUC has agreed to an annual rent of £1 a year for the first two years. SRUC continues to own the land and buildings.
All course and membership fees for the 2021/22 season will be retained by the Binny Golf Club as an entity independent of SRUC.
The decision does not affect the teaching of students as SRUC hasn’t run higher or further education golf students at its Oatridge campus for several years. Students studying at SRUC Oatridge will continue to gain practical skills in areas like engineering by helping to maintain the equipment used at the golf club.
Mike Newlands, Club Captain of the Binny Golf Club said: “Binny Golf Club was once described as probably the best nine-hole golf course in Scotland. We are very thankful to SRUC for the agreement reached which will allow this lovely golf course to continue.
“The Covid-19 restrictions, with no golf permitted, has not given us the start we would have wanted but we will comply with all guidelines for the greater good of our community.
“Once restrictions are lifted, the course will be well used again by our members and casual pay-and-play golfers. The physical and mental health benefits of golf cannot be underestimated as we come out of these difficult times. We look forward to growing our numbers over the next year and carrying on the great work that SRUC has started here.”
David Hopkins, Dean of SRUC’s Central Faculty, said: “SRUC has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Binny Golf Club and is pleased to be able to work with the club in this partnership to ensure that this valuable local asset remains available for the golfers of West Lothian and beyond. We wish the club every success in the new venture and look forward to a new relationship as partners.”
All education and training in greenkeeping in SRUC was transferred to specialist facilities at the Elmwood campus in Cupar, Fife, several years ago, where SRUC has made additional investment in golf course management and professional greenkeeping courses.
Posted by SRUC on 09/04/2020