Golfers getting in the swing all year round

The 14th green on Crail Golfing Society's Balcomie Links
The 14th green on Crail Golfing Society's Balcomie Links

DESPITE near record rainfall in Scotland in 2012, golfers at Crail Golfing Society were able to enjoy playing the game on all 365 days of the year.

The heavy rains in Summer meant other courses in the country suffered from often extended periods of closure, or conditions so muddy that winter rules had to be introduced.

At Crail, however, golf continued as normal.

“Our good fortune in being located in the relatively drier East Neuk of Fife, and our soil conditions, contributed to our being able to provide our members and visitors with good playing surfaces,” said Crail Golfing Society captain Richard Clifford.

“In addition though, our continuing investment in improved drainage has paid dividends.”

The Society attracted 107 new golfing members in 2012.

“Members at inland courses where the heavy rains have proved especially problematic, have been joining Crail, so as to be able to continue playing throughout the year,” said Mr Clifford.

“Visitor numbers exceeded our expectations as well, given the conditions country-wide.”

According to the Scottish Golf Union, only a third of Scottish golf clubs increased their membership numbers in 2012.

Crail Golfing Society is 227 years old and the seventh oldest golf club in the world, having been formed in 1786.

It has two 18 hole courses: Balcomie Links laid out by Old Tom Morris and opened in 1895, and Craighead Links, which was laid out by the 2009 Golf Course Architect of the Year Gil Hanse and opened in 1998.