New members flock to Dale with course in best-ever condition

The Shetland Golf Club has taken in almost five times the number of new members during lockdown as they did at the same time last year.

Club chairman Davy Thomson said it had been “very busy” at the Dale course since golfers were allowed to return to the course, but that it was now “probably a wee bit quieter” as folk headed back to work.

Despite that, he said there had been a “tremendous” number of entrants for men’s competitions, even though only members can take part due to the restrictions.

“It’s probably the largest interest ever,” Thomson said.

The golf club has taken in around 50 new members this year, compared to 11 at the same stage last year.

The golf club has seen an incredible surge in popularity across the last two months and the course has been regularly described as being in its best-ever condition.

Thomson agreed with the assessment, saying the Dale course has “never played as well” as it does now.

The immaculate state of the course is also encouraging the players. Golfer Ross Macdougall broke the course record almost two weeks ago, and said he felt it could tumble even lower with the increased interest in the sport and with the course in peak condition.

Greens convener Richie Smith agreed that the course record was “there for the taking” – but added that he was certain he would not be troubling it any time soon.

At a recent competition, held on a Wednesday, the club had around 100 players taking part.

Smith said that he was confident that had “never happened in Shetland before.”

“Perhaps in golf’s heyday at a weekend that might have happened,” he added, “but that has certainly never happened on a Wednesday.”


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