Work on two Aberdeen golf courses planned in bid to improve things for players

A view over the Kings Links, Aberdeen.

Changes will be made to two more Aberdeen golf courses in an attempt to make things better for players, bosses have said.

Last month, the Evening Express reported the MacKenzie Championship Course in Hazlehead is due to undergo drainage works that could mean the course will have to close for the whole of 2018.

Now, bosses of Sport Aberdeen, which maintains two courses at Hazlehead and two others in the city – Balnagask and Kings Links – has said it will carry out changes at those other courses too.

The aim, they said, is not to spend less overall or sell off land, but rather to respond to feedback from players.

At Kings Links, the intention is to realign the course so six holes currently not part of the main course will be integrated into the new course.

That is because the course sometimes suffers from flooding due to its coastal location and the realignment process will make use of the holes furthest away from the area most prone to flooding.

At Balnagask, the intention is to reduce a nine-hole practice course to one or two holes and to build a practice range in its place.

Sport Aberdeen’s director of operations and asset development Keith Gerrard said: “With Balnagask, we looked at the figures and realised we are spending £17,000 a year on maintaining the practice course, yet it only brings in £1,100 revenue.

“We did a survey of golfers which told us that only a small number of them use the practice course and they would prefer to retain some of it as one or two holes that lead on to the first hole of the 18-hole course.

“What that will mean is that we can save money on maintenance that we will be able to reinvest in golf in Aberdeen.

“This certainly isn’t about selling off land or cutting expenditure. Our aim is to make things better for players.”

Mr Gerrard added: “At Kings Links, the changes will not save money from our general maintenance fund, but will save us money on repairing damage caused by flooding and we think that will be a benefit to everyone.”

Sport Aberdeen spent an extra £20,000 on improving the three courses over the winter months.