Historic East Lothian golf club splits 18-hole course into two nine-holes

A historic golf club in East Lothian has split its 18-hole course into two nine-holes. Picture: Stock image
A historic golf club in East Lothian has split its 18-hole course into two nine-holes. Picture: Stock image
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An historic golf club dating back almost 200 years has split its 18-hole course into two nine-holes - to encourage more time-strapped golfers to play.

Bosses at Haddington Golf Club in East Lothian say the necessary changes will now be made to the course after 79 per cent of club members voted to split it up.

In total, 178 members voted in the ballot, with 79 per cent voting yes to change to the new layout and 21 per cent voting no - to remain on the same route.

As part of a four-week trial, the club changed the course route to feature two loops of nine holes.

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The club, established in 1865, said it offers golfers an ideal way to enjoy the sport in the colder winter months as well as those who are tight for time.

Members chose to keep this layout and golfers can play for only £20 at the parkland course, which was occupied by the military during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745.

Scott Thomson, general manager of Haddington Golf Club, said: “We feel its vitally important to explore new ways of attracting more people to the game.

“We’re fortunate that our clubhouse is situated in the middle of the golf course and can make these changes quite easily.

“Our front nine is a lot flatter now than it used to be, so for golfers with less time they can now play a lot more quickly.

“The discussions have been mostly positive and we’re trying to attract a different golfer to the club, such as those perhaps can only play nine holes and for beginners it’s beneficial as well.”

Haddington Golf Club was once the estate of the infamous gambler and rake Colonel Francis Charteris.

The land was used during the Napoleonic Wars from 1793 to 1815 and then sold to Haddington Town Council in 1960 for £49,000.

And the house was used as officer’s quarters during WWI and the estate once again as a camp during WWII.

Mr Thomson added: “We must adapt to show that people can still enjoy golf despite having less free time than ever before.

“There is a very positive feeling about Haddington Golf Club right now and we want as many as possible to get involved.”

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