EXCLUSIVE

Plans in place to resurrect closed Scottish golf club

Eastwood Golf Club

Ambitious plans are in place to resurrect a closed Scottish golf club, bunkered.co.uk can reveal.

Eastwood Golf Club, located in Newton Mearns, on the south side of Glasgow, closed in May 2019 after 126 years in operation. A significant downturn in membership had made the business unsustainable and, after a takeover bid collapsed, it was forced into liquidation.

However, bunkered.co.uk has seen proposals to resurrect the club as part of a new multi-purpose, leisure and entertainment complex called Eastwood Estate.

The £1.5million, 175-acre development will be created on the site of the old Eastwood Golf Club and will comprise a short golf course, clubhouse and golf academy.

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The proposed complex also includes opportunities for a wedding and events venue, a new plant nursery, an orchard plantation and even a micro-distillery or brewery.

Glasgow-based property developer Colin Whitelaw is the driving force behind the plans and told bunkered.co.uk he anticipates the re-born Eastwood will be open for business in 2022, subject to planning permission.

“The pandemic has had an obvious delay on bring a planning application forward but, having scaled back our aspirations for the surplus land, we believe we now have a scheme that works,” said Whitelaw.

On the golf front, Whitelaw added that the intention is to retain a shorter course made up of holes that comprised part of the ‘old’ Eastwood. “This may be nine, ten or 12 holes, we have made no decision yet,” he said.

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Whitelaw has enlisted the services of Greentech Sports and Fairways as well as agronomist Jay Dobson to consult on the plans for the course which is intended to be, in the first instance, a ‘pay and play’ facility.

“Our thinking is to make it as accessible as possible to all,” he said. “However, we do envisage offering an annual subscription to those who want to play more regularly.”

Despite the collapse of the old club and the strong golf provision already on offer in the local area, Whitelaw is confident Eastwood Estate can occupy an important niche.

“We will not compete with our neighbours for members of an 18-hole club,” he said. “We believe - as do many of the professional bodies - that golf can be shorter and more informal, turn up dressed to play and go.

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“The opportunity to play regularly without tying yourself to an annual membership will be appealing to many while offering holes which were built for a full-size course, both in layout, finish and quality, and USGA greens.”

In time, Whitelaw expects Eastwood to become a popular alternative to golfers’ own home courses.

“We think the shorter format will suit golfers at the younger and older end of the age spectrum and be multi-generational, like Shiskine Golf Club on Arran,” he continued. “We also envisage the course offering three tees at each hole and golfers will be encourage to use a tee that suits their level of ability best, not a gents, ladies or junior option. Therefore, hopefully, they’ll enjoy their round to the full.”

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