During the recent pandemic lockdowns, Golf Courses the length and breadth of the country witnessed a significant increase in members of the public accessing the fairways to enjoy their daily permitted exercise.
Thankfully, recent events appear to be well behind us, and things have mostly returned to normal.
With one exception! The health and wellbeing benefits derived from playing golf has seen a surge in participation from new and returning golfers. This alongside people’s desire to access open green space, means that golf courses have never been more popular.
The Award Winning, Darley Golf Course, part of South Ayrshire Council’s portfolio of courses (Golf South Ayrshire) is no different.
Season Ticket sales have increased by over 30% since pre-pandemic levels and recorded rounds of golf on Darley have increased by 19%.
This increased usage has presented Golf South Ayrshire with several challenges, namely, how to maximise the opportunity presented to meet the demand for golf and continue to enable non-golfing members of the public to access the courses safely and in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Following discussions with Golf Course Architects, a safe walking route to connect existing paths East and West of the course boundaries were proposed, requiring some minor alterations to the existing Golf Course. Golf South Ayrshire was subsequently successful in obtaining funding for the project through the Council’s Fund Making Scheme, details can be found here https://tinyurl.com/2p8kkyct.
An extension to an existing path will be created culminating in a whin dust surface to connect Kilmarnock Road with Dundonald Road and 2 new grass paths will be created connecting this path with the existing Cycle Path on the western boundary of the course.
These paths will allow all non-golfing members of the public to safely enjoy the open green space on six different length circular routes. Signage and information boards as well as litter bins will be provided along these routes so that litter and dog waste can be disposed of responsibly. Several open areas will be created to provide alternative wildlife habits in addition to the areas already planted by volunteers from the Scottish Wildlife Trust with pollinator friendly wildflowers.
Full plans can be viewed clicking the link below or by visiting the Troon Links Golf Clubhouse.