Big freeze puts golfers on ice

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By Andrea McCallum

A KEEN golf nut swaps spikes for ICE-SKATES to get a round in as Scotland is hit by a second wave of freezing weather.

Former ice hockey player Anthony Caira – club pro at Kirkcaldy Golf Club – braved sub zero temperatures on Tuesday to take on the frozen green.

The 48-year-old even had donned the ice-beating gear in Balwearie, Fife, to tee off from the 18th hole.

Mr Caira said: “Golfers are mad and will play in any conditions – there is the well-known phrase ‘it never rains on a golf course’ which sums that up really.

“It was a rather unique experience as I never thought I would be able to skate there.

“That was the first time I have worn skates on the green and hit a couple of balls.”

Other desperate members are taking to the course in skies, sledges and even snowboard, according to club captain Allan Elder.

Mr Elder said: ‘We’re praying that the snow and ice clears and we get people back again and things pick up.

“Now we’re just waiting for the ice to melt – it’s been about an inch thick.

“But we have had people coming down to look at the course and we even had some snowboarders as well as sledgers.

“We even had one of our members going around on their skis – he said he really enjoyed it.”

The club is one of many across Scotland that has declared its courses out of bounds.

With heavy snow and thick ice the greens have been unplayable for over a month – causing members to miss out on their weekly sporting jaunt.

Mr Elder added: “Our members are desperate to get back to their golf – they are missing it desperately.

“They are even missing the banter and good atmosphere down at the club.

“The expectation is that members will have a game of golf all year round but because of the hard frost and snow it’s not been possible.”

And the weather has played havoc with the club’s finances – Mr Elder said the revenue is down about 80 per cent compared to last year.

He said: “It’s been bad for us as we have had no visitors for the last four weeks and the club has suffered – the regular members have not been coming down.

“Apart from our normal Christmas parties, festive events and Hogmanay which went very well, we are not getting anything else.

“We have not had as many members as we usually do and that has a knock-on effect on everything that happens in the club.”

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