One mile of drainage trenches dug by OAPs as club could not afford a contractor
An historic Scottish golf club has provided a clear demonstration of how the financial pressures have hit the industry in the last few years – by ‘employing’ 50 members to dig a drainage trench using shovels.
Some of the ‘workers’ include old age pensioners.
Drainage is an essential, but often costly, part of most UK clubs’ course maintenance procedures, usually involving professional companies using heavy machinery to dig trenches.
However, Leslie Golf Club, which was established in the 19th century, has called on its members to do the work after realising it could not afford to pay a contractor to do it.
FifeToday reports that about 50 members have dug around a mile of trenches using shovels and ditching spades over the course of the last year.
One of the helpers is Jim Parker, a 76-year-old member.
“It’s a fantastic wee course and a real asset to not only Leslie, but also to Glenrothes and Fife as a whole,” he said.
“But like many clubs in the last few years it’s suffered from the lack of investment and less golfers wanting to use the course.
“Because we couldn’t afford to pay outside contractors to do the work a few of us got together and decided it was time to roll our sleeves up and try and put right a few of the issues and problems.”
As well as the mile of completed drainage, members added over 200 barrow loads of earth to one sunken area to bring a particular fairway up to scratch.
“It’s been a big undertaking but a worthwhile one, we couldn’t let this club go to the wall,” added Jim.
“We’ve got a great bunch of members now that want to make this club succeed, with facilities including a function room and bar which is for hire as well as some fund raising initiatives we hope to continue to revive the club,” said club captain Kevin Chapman.
Several golf clubs have suffered over the last decade with general declining membership levels impacting heavily on income streams.