Scottish Golf Courses

Centre's hire scheme a 'hit'

Strathmore reckons it is 'bucking the national trend' with club rental initiative

By SCG Newsdesk

Strathmore Golf Centre is welcoming more young players through its doors thanks to a popular club hire scheme that has been “a dream come true” for one man.

The brainchild of junior convenor, Iain Butchart, some four years ago, the scheme is helping make golf more affordable for budding golfers at the Perthshire venue,
and encouraging them into membership. Last year, for example, the club attracted 15 new junior members.

AFFORDABLE

Butchart, who has been in his position for eight years, works with a PGA pro to provide 17 hours of free coaching to juniors over the season, while annual fees have been kept affordable to encourage membership.

However, Butchart felt the cost of buying clubs was another challenge for parents, and often watched children arrive with adult cut down, ill fitting or heavy clubs.

"I had a brainwave and it appeared feasible as long as I could raise some capital to fund the scheme,” said Iain. “SSE Drumderg Wind Farm Community Fund Scheme was looking for local projects to sponsor, so I completed their application form and was delighted when they agreed to invest and so I set up the scheme and waited to see what would happen."

Butchart secured an initial overall investment of £1,800 (aided in principle by the community fund scheme) and initially bought 12 junior sets and two ladies’ sets. Stock, including trolleys, has been added to in recent years, to offer plentiful options for aspiring players.

DONATED

"I set hire charges at £25 per annum per set and recently added trolley hire at £5 per annum,” he added. “This has so far brought income of over £800, plus we have the original 17 sets and another 10 sets which have been donated."

"The scheme means juniors can try golf with a minimum cost by hiring and not buying clubs. Last year, of the 15 new members, eight of them joined the club hire scheme. We now have a total of 15 girls at Strathmore, which certainly bucks the national trend."

To find out more, visit strathmoregolf.com

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