Lethamhill: Golf centre in Glasgow to serve squash-tennis phenomenon

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A COMMUNITY golf centre facing an upgrade will now accommodate a rising sports phenomenon. 

The plan by R&A at Lethamhill in Glasgow to redevelop the existing golf course is going to include three permanent courts for padel. 

Padel, which combines tennis and squash, is said to be the one of the world’s fastest growing participation sports. 

READ MORE: R&A secure permission for Glasgow golf course at Lethamhill

R&A are working with Game4Padel to install the courts, alongside shorter form golf courses, adventure golf and a 52-bay double-decker floodlit driving range.

Plans were submitted to Glasgow City Council in February to transform the site, which will hopefully feature a a café, retail space and nursery as part of a central hub that would offer views north over nearby Hogganfield Loch to the Campsie Fells and over Glasgow. 

Recent updates to the plans now include adding nature trails, a new visitor centre for the Seven Lochs Wetlands Park, community orchard and public space for pop-up events, as well as a dedicated space for padel. 

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “We have a very clear objective to make golf more accessible and inclusive for people of all ages and backgrounds.

“To achieve that, we need to broaden our appeal by offering a wider variety of fun and affordable activities that appeal to our target audience and get more families and young people taking part. 

“Padel fits the bill perfectly in those respects and we are delighted to be working with Game4Padel to incorporate three all-weather courts in the revised plans for Lethamhill.”

Padel is similar to tennis but players serve underarm, meaning it is much easier for beginners. Its investors include sports stars Zinedine Zidane, Rafael Nadal, Lionel Messi, and Maria Sharapova, as well as former tennis world number one Andy Murray.

READ MORE: Glasgow art exhibition will raise funds for Drumchapel Table Tennis Club

Michael Gradon, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Game4Padel, said: “This is a landmark deal for our business and for the game of padel in the UK. It is a great pleasure to be working in partnership with a brand and an organisation as prestigious as The R&A and to help them realise what is a fantastic vision for Lethamhill that will increase participation not only in golf, but in other activities like padel.

“Padel is highly complementary to what The R&A is trying to achieve here – being accessible, fun, and easy for beginners to pick up – and a great way for players of all ages and abilities to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of sports participation.

“We are in advanced stages of negotiation with several other golf clubs and The R&A’s endorsement of padel will encourage clubs all over the country to consider whether the game could be a great addition to their facilities given its potential to boost membership, income, family involvement, and attract a younger, more inclusive audience to golf.”

R&A are hoping to open the new site in spring 2023. 

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