Club In Focus: Leven Thistle
Can we confidently say that golf’s big slump is now over? Even if the dark days of the recession are behind us, and many clubs are recording profits once again, some might be a little wary of declaring that brighter times are definitely ahead.
At Leven Thistle, though, club chiefs are positively buoyant – and with good reason. The Fife outfit, one of two which play on the championship Leven Links, have a double reason to celebrate this year.
Not only are they marking their 150th anniversary, they can also report that membership numbers are going through the roof. They’ve done this in spite of illustrious neighbours such as St Andrews and Carnoustie being little more than a short drive away. We asked club captain Alan Lee why the club are doing so well.
Tell us about Leven Thistle…
Our motto is Gouff Dings A – which means golf is everything – and it’s true. We enjoy playing and the social side of the game. We’ve never really lost that ethos to this day. We are celebrating 150 years this year and we’re one of two clubs that play on Leven Links.
The club is thriving at the moment…
We’ve increased our membership by more than 10 per cent every year since 2014.
We had 320 members in 2014, 465 last year and we’ve got 28 already this year and I’ve got another three applicants. We have 84 members who are 25 and under and 43 seniors. How many clubs can claim to have double the number of younger members than seniors?
We have 90 category 1 golfers and 110 with handicaps of six and below. The club is an exciting place to be. There is always a buzz and we’ve got more and more people coming here. We refurbished the lounge last year and have just finished the restaurant this year.
How have you managed to do that?
We are using the course. It’s as good as anywhere all year round. We were putting on 9.5 on the Stimpmeter in the winter and on really good greens. That attracts people. When people come into the club they get a good feeling. It’s a very friendly club and we’ve also been promoting ourselves on Facebook and various other means.
When we get a new member come to the club, a couple of weeks go by and they usually bring a couple of their pals.