As we approach the summer and look forward to having the Open on our doorstep, I took the opportunity in a recent debate in Westminster on the Economic Value of Golf to encourage golf fans to come to Troon and experience the many delights of our town as well as the world class golf which will no doubt be on display. I also used the debate to support the retention of municipal golf courses, which allow thousands of keen golfers to pay and play without the burden of high membership fees. In Troon, we are fortunate to have 3 municipal courses and I was delighted to see that the refurbishment work to transform Troon Golf Clubhouse is finally underway, although the timing of the renovations is perhaps not ideal given that the golfing world is due to descend on us.
We obviously want Troon looking her very best in July and, sadly, I have to say I have been really shocked recently when out and about at the amount of litter strewn about the town and surrounding countryside. We have some very committed volunteers who have taken part in litter picks at the beach and at Fullerton Woods but there are still areas which are a real mess. Obviously, this is something we need to tackle on an on-going basis but, given the global attention Troon will receive in July, we need to make a real effort to have a big clean up before the start of the summer season. While I am sure the Council will be facilitating this over the coming weeks, it would be good to get as many people involved as possible and to try and get people to put litter where it belongs in the first place – in the bin!
One area which I am hopeful will be looking better is the cycle path that passes Lochgreen golf course. As many of you will know, after the unnecessary destruction of the trees bordering the path during groundworks carried out by Scottish Power, I arranged a meeting with the company who agreed there was a need for restoration and advised they would plant new trees to replace those destroyed in the spring. It is great to see that the planting is now going ahead and I am especially pleased that my idea of including some larger specimens in the landscaping, to restore the appearance and act as a safety screen from low flying golf balls, was taken on board. Hopefully this will start to look a little less raw in the coming months.