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Golf star and former Ryder Cup Captain, Bernard Gallacher, will help proceedings go with a swing tomorrow as he tees off at a brand new pay-as-you-play golf course in West Lothian. 

The nine hole golf course, situated at Oatridge Agricultural College near Broxburn, was built with the help of sportscotland Lottery Fund award of almost £250,000 and will include a reception and changing area, greenkeeper store, car park facilities and practice area. 

“I am delighted to encourage something like the Oatridge facility”, Bernard Gallacher commented.  He continued:  “Such is the explosion in golf everywhere nowadays we can never have too many courses.  And it’s nice to see a project coming to fruition like this in the area I learned my own golf.  The pay-as-you-play format gives people the opportunity to try the game, who might have been put off by exorbitant costs in times past.” 

As well as providing a much-needed golf facility for the area, the course will provide a training ground for students studying greenkeeping at the college. 

The course will be available for players of all standards, from basic to advanced levels, and will also act as a residential coaching facility for junior participants outside term time.  It has the potential to be extended to 18 holes in the future, and it is hoped that these new facilities will go some way towards meeting the increasing demand for golf in the area. 

Chris Nixon, Principle of Oatridge Agricultural College, said:  “ We made the decision to take 100 acres of our 750 acre farm to build this course and give realistic work situations to our greenkeeping students.  Within seven weeks of the plans being submitted we had the OK from the local authorities and then it was all go – and it has been ever since. 

“We are also on the point of completing our start facilities which include changing facilities for players.  I am sure, in time, though, season ticket holders will be keen to organise themselves into a club.” 

Allan Alstead, Chief Executive of sporstscotland, said:  “This new pay-as-you-play course will not only provide easy access to golf, particularly to newcomers to the sport, but will also help to preserve the reputation of Scottish golf courses by training the next generation of skilled greenkeepers. 

“I am delighted that sportscotland has been able to support this project through its Lottery Fund and I hope that this excellent new facility will encourage more people of all ages to participate in sport.”