Shortened game is proving to be a winner for clubs

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Two Lothians clubs are growing their membership and visitor revenue through the successful adoption of a shorter form of golf – put simply, 9-hole competitions.

West Lothian and Kingsfield Golf Centre are reaping the rewards of listening to the needs of the modern member, with visitors also attracted by the more flexible options on offer.

The committee at West Lothian built a new ‘19th hole’ to provide their members and visitors with a new 9-hole option. “It has given us the scope to make the course more attractive and accessible,” said club manager Alan Gibson.

“Our 9-hole competitions have been well received by members, and we tend to have 35-40 players competing. People have to experience something new to change their habits and we’re pleased with the way the new 9-hole option has progressed.”

At nearby Kingsfield Golf Centre, it is also enjoying success by using the 9-hole course as a direct selling point. “For our first 9-hole midweek medal this season, almost 40 golfers played and the feedback we are getting from the shorter competitions is very positive,” said Andrew Corr, Kingsfield’s club secretary. “We look forward to continuing them in midweek during the season.”

Changes to the CONGU system in recent years allow clubs to stage 9-hole competitions which count for handicapping purposes.