Feb 20th, 2017
Queen opens up Balmoral 9 hole course
To us commoners
Words: John Dean
The Queen has opened up her Balmoral estate to golfers, thanks to a squeeze on corporate clients brought on by the downturn in the North Sea oil industry.
Groups of four can now pay £200 to play on the estate’s nine–hole course, which has previously only been open to corporate clients and Balmoral staff, Royals and their guests.
The new pricing is a significantly lower than the corporate rate, which could cost up to £2,000 a day, sometimes including barbeques. This must have made it the most expensive 9–hole in the world!
Income from these events was reportedly around £25,000 a year. But the bookings have fallen since a fall in the price of crude oil last year, which hurt the local oil industry.
Richard Gledson, who runs the estate, told The Sun: “We thought it wold be a nice idea to open it up to people. Firstly we are not getting a many corporate days as we had in the past – because of the downturn in Aberdeen. Also we do get a lot of requests from members of the public who would like to come and play at Balmoral, and because we have some spare capacity, because we are not having the corporate days – so effectively they will come on the days that were corporate days, so as not to interfere with our membership.”
The course, which dates to 1925, “meanders its way around cairns and monuments from Queen Victoria’s reign and continues beside the magnificent River Dee”.
The course is 4825 yards and par 67 for men. For women the course is 4459 yards and par 69.
The estate website states: “We have a limited number of dates and tee times available this season and the cost is £200 for up to four players per tee time.
“This entitles you to an 18–hole round of golf for a maximum of four players, score cards, use of the club cabin and parking facilities.
“Access to the grounds, gardens, exhibitions, gift shop and cafe is included.”