Crail Golfing Society has leapt into the top ranks of green golf clubs in Scotland following a massive £130,000 investment in energy efficiency.
The Society is expecting the investment to reduce its running costs by £30,000 a year, thanks to a combination of lower energy costs and Government incentive payments.
The huge capital outlay will be paid back in just over four years, but with the incentive payments set to last for 20 years and the energy savings forever, the Society will continue to benefit well into the future.
“As we all know, energy costs are rising fast, so our savings in years to come will continue going up, helping us to reduce future rises in member subscriptions and visitor green fees,” said Dr Richard Clifford, captain of Crail Golfing Society.
Last year’s energy bill of £40,000 is set to be cut by over a third, and with Government incentive payments adding £16,000 plus each year, the Society is confident it has made a wise investment.
“We started the project over two years ago with a survey by the Energy Saving Trust,” explained Dr Clifford. “Following that, we put extra insulation in roofs and walls, put timers on heaters and double glazed windows.
“Solar panels were installed on the clubhouse and greenkeeping shed roofs to generate electricity and a biomass boiler replaced the oil burner in the clubhouse.
“The project was completed in August, so this will be our first winter with the measures in place. However, already we can see a big reduction in our energy usage.”
Crail Golfing Society was founded in 1786 and is the seventh oldest golf club in the world.
It has two courses: Balcomie Links, laid out by Tom Morris and opened in 1895, and Craighead Links, opened in 1998 and designed by Gil Hanse - who is designing the course for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The Society has a worldwide membership of over 1,400 and attracts almost 10,000 golfing visitors annually.