Golf club says mast cash not the answer

Members of Leslie Golf Club
Members of Leslie Golf Club

LESLIE Golf Club still faces an uncertain future despite the recently added income from a telecommunications company, reports KEVIN QUINN.

The 114 year-old club is struggling financially due to a lack of members and although the installation of an O2 phone mast on their grounds has helped, it is still not enough.

Committee members told the Gazette that the mast, which although there hasn’t been turned on yet, is not the miracle answer to their problems.

President Ian McLennan said: “It’s not a boost at all. The main focus is getting members in, we have lost a lot of members and basically the money from this mast doesn’t cover the money we have lost from this.

“We have had schoolchildren in here in the past two years from Leslie Primary. We try hard to be part of the community. We could do with more sponsorship from local businesses, and we could let-out the facilities here.

“We are treading water, even with the money from O2 for the mast. It’s a small income but at least it’s steady, and over 20 years.

“It has been a big help, god knows where we would have stood without the mast. We are trying our best just to get by.”

The nine-hole golf club has only 39 members and is ran by volunteers from the committee, with just the greenkeeper employed.

Acting treasurer Ian Donachie has been with the club since 1954, he believes there is a ‘disease’ in the game just now.

He said: “In my days we had 200 members, mostly made up of men from the big companies that were around here then, there is just not the same amount of people in Leslie now.

“When I was young there was nothing else to do. So I just played golf.

“It’s a disease in golf just now. The smaller clubs are struggling.

“We are always hopeful, you have got to stay hopeful. But come back in six months time and it might be a different story. We need all the help we can get.”

Golfing legend Tom Morris was made an honoury member at Leslie when his friend Charles Anderson opened the club in 1898. If you would like to sponsor the club or rent their 80-capacity hall, call 620 040.