A local golf club admits it is “upping its game” as it emerges from two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clydebank & District Golf Club has welcomed over 130 new members to the Hardgate course over the last year alone with the sport one of the few that was permitted at the height of the restrictions.

Along with the new members, the club has a new caterer, a new bar manager, a new beer garden and a new look to the clubhouse, with the recent installation of a 122inch projector and 65inch HD TV for members to enjoy sports such as the recent Masters at Augusta.

And speaking to the Post, club captain John Kennedy explained it was important for the club to capitalise on the rising popularity of golf.

He said: “As soon as we knew we were coming out of the pandemic, when we realised there was a will of people to come and play golf, we thought, we’ve got to seize it and encourage it.”

During the various Covid-19 shutdowns, golf was permitted and encouraged by the Scottish Government, due to its ability to be played outdoors at a social distance and offering players their daily dose of exercise.

This saw golf encounter a resurgence in players, with people picking up a club again after a long time or playing for the very first time.

And Kennedy revealed although numbers went up, the golf club still had to be careful with the safety measures required by the government.

“I think it benefitted from the fact that golf was a playable sport. 

“We had to sensibly limit the numbers on the tee and conform with the different restrictions.,” Kennedy added.

Now with the club thriving and with over 600 members, the committee are eager to make Clydebank a social hub for the local community.

New Match Secretary John Stirling advised that people use the club for more than just golf.

He said: “The course has been in incredible condition for the last two, three years. We’ve invested a lot of money in the golf course.

“The social side, we have a great central golf club. We have 65 bookings already for functions. We’re almost full every single weekend.

“We’re very fortunate that we can host up to 200 people here.”

Kennedy added: “It’s not just a golf club. You get everything from birthday parties, right through to weddings, right through to communions.

“I mean every aspect of the local community.”

Both men are keen to dispel the myth that golf clubs are “stuffy” places, with the clubhouse dress code relaxed to “smart” with no football tops permitted but trainers allowed.

And next up in the plan is the fitting of a new roof and the remodelling of the car park, with the focus remaining on attracting the next generation of golfers to help the club continue moving forward.

Kennedy finished: “As soon as the pandemic started to show a clearance, we promoted the junior golf last year.

“We were taking like 30 kids on a Sunday afternoon with the Pro and other helpers.
“We are trying to break the barriers.”