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Hebrides News


The long term ban on Sunday golf at Stornoway Golf Club continues after the course landlords refused to change the rules.


Hebrides News can reveal the Stornoway Trust voted 6-3 against relaxing the condition in the lease.


Golf has never been played on the Stornoway Trust-owned land, reflecting the historic local island values of observing the Sabbath.


The Stornoway Trust declines to announce the decision until it officially meets with the club management later today.


But trustee Colin Maclean revealed the meeting opted for “no Sunday golf.”


“It was 6-3 against. That’s pathetic.


“Times are changing. The Lews Castle is open, shops and bars are open in town” on Sundays while planes and ferries also operate seven days.


He believes it is double standards as people play football on Sundays on the trust-owned pitch behind the club house.


At their recent annual meeting, golf club members present unanimously backed a move to allow seven day golf.


The lease ran out last year and the course is currently rented under a temporary arrangement.


For many months both sides have been involved in discussions over drawing up a new agreement.


Increasing the £50 annual rent for the 18-hole course is also on the cards.

















In December, some 74% of 734 people who responded to an online survey backed all sports in the Lews Castle Grounds “being treated the same way by the Stornoway Trust.”


The results were promoted as in favour of Sunday golf  but critics maintain the poll was not only misleading, ambiguous, and unregulated but completely failed to state it was about the golf issue.


Anyone across the globe were allowed to vote in what is a local issue yet islanders without internet access were excluded, it was suggested.


Conflicting desires within the community puts the publicly elected Stornoway Trust between a rock and a hard place.


Dramatic change in the Sabbath landscape compared to just a few years ago has seen the introduction of seven-day ferries and planes while a number of pubs and shops now open on the Lewis Sunday.


However, many islanders who are not church goers nor particularly religious strongly back Sunday observance where shops, public services and facilities are closed.


Sunday is the only time people can enjoy a stroll across the golf course without the risk of being in the way of a flying golf ball.


Others call for more Sunday services like the Stornoway Sports Centre to operate.


Sabbath observance adherents say this not only breaks the Fourth Commandment against Sunday employment but also attacks at the heart of traditional island values.




Sunday Trust votes to keep Sunday golf ban

28 February 2018

Trustee Colin Maclean criticises the golf ban

The Stornoway Trust debated the ban