Castle Park Golf Club… A refreshing outlook
Teeofftimes’ Market Sales Manager Will Stillwell takes a look at Castle Park Golf Club.
We are all too familiar with the challenges that face golf clubs on a day-to-day basis, and looking back to the start of the 2015 season, Castle Park Golf Club appeared set to be the third club in the Lothian’s to shut within an 18-month period. When the previous owners made the decision to retire, it was expected that Castle Park would be sold for agricultural use.
However, at the heart of Castle Park Golf Club was a loyal member base that was determined to see the course remain viable and available to golfers for years to come. A small group of partners banded together to buy the golf course, and Castle Park reopened under a consortium of five locals. Craig McLachlan was one of the partners behind the buyout, and he focused on investing in the club’s facilities and implementing a long-term strategy to improve the course.
During my visits to Castle Park over the past three years, I have seen the developments continually add new strengths to an already fantastic facility. Perhaps most notable is the outstanding new clubhouse, complete with a welcoming bar and restaurant, along with an outdoor seating area that provides great views of both the 10th and 18th holes. With two of the partners, Craig and Pam, having strong backgrounds in hospitality, the off-course catering is managed to a very high standard.
Castle Park has invested heavily in providing golfers with great facilities to improve their game, too; these include a modern putting lab and a covered driving range. The upgrades are welcome amenities, especially for an area where similar amenities were few and far between. More developments are underway, with the introduction of gym and sauna options within the clubhouse.
Most importantly, the course has undergone extensive investment, with particular focus on refining the greens. Despite the harsh winter we just experienced up in Scotland, I was delighted with the condition of the course during my visit last month. Each time I am onsite there has been an update to either the facilities or course, and Castle Park is really taking shape as another great offering in the renowned golfing mecca that is East Lothian.
The course itself is nestled within a mature woodland site that was historically the deer park for nearby Yester Castle; the ruins of this 16th century castle are still visible through the trees at the back of the 14th green. Sitting at the foot of the Lammermuir Hills, Castle Park boasts fantastic views as you plot your way around the two very different loops of nine holes. From the back tees, the course measures a challenging 6,443 yards, but with three par 5s on the front nine it offers the possibility to score well. Watch out at the turn, however; some lengthy par 4s and a number of blind tee shots mean that the back 9 is sure to test every aspect of your game.
Castle Park is a forward-thinking club that looks to offer golfers an especially enjoyable experience within a relaxed social environment. The club is committed to growing the game of golf, and have worked closely to promote junior golf. Castle Park has also embraced the principles of dynamic pricing as they look to increase course utilisation by offering affordable golf at their off-peak periods throughout the day.