A WELL-established Sutherland golf club is organising a host of activities and incentives in a bid to attract more players.
Brora Golf Club is holding an open day on Saturday, April 22, and anyone interested in the sport but unsure how to go about playing, is invited to attend.
In addition, the club is offering several attractive cut-price membership deals to entice new or returning members.
The fresh drive to encourage more people to take up golf follows a change of leadership at the 125-year-old club, which is the most northerly James Braid course in the UK and has been described by five time British Open champion Peter Thomson as "the best traditional links course in the world".
Andy Stewart has succeeded Alistair Risk as club president and has a new, enthusiastic committee behind him all working hard to help the club grow. Originally from Dundee, Andy previously ran Brora post office.
There has also been a relatively recent change in the professional at the club with Malcolm Murray taking over from Brian Anderson in February last year. Aged just 29, Mr Murray is one of the younger head professionals in the country and brings a passion as well as a forward thinking attitude towards encouraging beginners and juniors into the game. The club currently has around 460 members of all ages and hopes to increase that figure by the end of 2017 through recruitment in many different areas.
Junior convener Calum Stewart said: "We have been doing really well as a club in recent years but we certainly feel there is still room for new members and that there are plenty people in the area who would play golf, given some encouragement."
The open day starts with free coaching and games for under-18s from 10am until noon. Professional Mr Murray and other club members will be on hand to give tuition. Clubs will be provided.
Mr Stewart said: "Any juniors interested in attending can pop into the club at any point during the two-hour session."
An session from 1-3pm is for beginners as well as former players who might want to get back into the game. Again, professional Mr Murray will give free lessons and volunteers will be on hand to accompany those who might want to play a few holes on the course.
The management committee is keen to promote social activities and the open day will be followed by a quiz night starting at 7 o’clock. Plans are also on hand to start up a weekly Beginners’ Night to allow new and returning golfers to get to know each other and ensure that everybody has somebody to play golf with.
Meanwhile membership fees have been slashed with the cost for junior membership down from £75 to £30 for 16 to 18-year-olds and from £30 to £10 for under-16s. As an extra sweetener, each new junior member will be given a gift of a club and putter to help them get started.
A new Get into Golf membership has been introduced which costs £100 for the first year – an amazing reduction of 75 per cent on the normal £400 membership price. Also, all new members will be given three free lessons from the club professional which can be used at any time during the year.
As well as this, there is an offer for golfers who previously played and are looking to get back into the game, with a 50 per cent reduction in membership from £400 to £200 for the first year.
The club is also offering a Highland Membership. Any members of another Highland golf club can make Brora their second club for £175 a year. This will allow them full playing privileges at the club, including the ability to sign guests on for member-guest rates, access to club competitions, including the club championship and members’ rates for open competitions.