Edinburgh’s Civic Delights Provide Hidden Treats for All

It always happens, doesn’t it? Things keep getting in the way of starting the spring golf season. 

Food needs to be bought, deadlines need to be made, golf on the TV has to be watched. The list stacks up and actually getting out on the course always seems to find itself at the bottom.

Until you find yourself in the pub and foolhardily agree to take your mate on in a (paying) challenge match. 

Panic sets in. The driving range is visited. The nerves increase. And then, in my case, the local council comes to the rescue. The City of Edinburgh Council maintains about half a dozen courses for golfers of all abilities – and all levels of laziness.

The course are pay as you play and – as civic amenities – are reasonably cheap to play. The standard isn’t out of this world but for getting your eye in or introducing someone to the game they really are fantastic. 

In the past week I’ve played the Craigentinny course quite a few times – at first in desperation at the thought of money and pride lost – and then eventually enjoying a course that, behind its modesty, contains a few challenging doglegs, a couple of testing par threes and a wind that buffets you every which way.

For the visiting golfer Edinburgh’s council courses are great way to warm up for the more challenging private courses in the city or along the coast in East Lothian. 

For the locals they are a fantastic amenity to get people turned onto golf – and to give modest but keen and experienced players like myself practice in a cheap and relaxed atmosphere.

More importantly council courses with access for everybody are great way of protecting Scotland’s democratic golfing heritage.

Oh and the challenge match? My friend wanted to go to the pub to watch the football. I took that as a moral victory – and winning has never tasted sweeter!

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