THE captain of Millport Golf Club says the 'incredible' efforts of members saved the course from closure.

The club was forced to shut during lockdown and has relied on the support of its 200-strong roster to keep it afloat.

Captain Walter Horne believes that support saved the club from being lost.

He said: “Our members have been so supportive of us during the pandemic and we have also had lots of outside visitors coming down and using the club.

“The islanders and caravanners have been coming up here to eat when it is allowed, which has been a huge boost.

“People have been volunteering to paint the place and do odd jobs. That’s what a club is all about - and people are lining up to help.

“When we were closed down people looked at us and realised they didn’t want to lose the club.”

Walter says that the restrictions on the operation of the clubhouse and bar had has been the biggest blow to finances.

He explained: “It has been the hardest year we’ve had since the foot and mouth outbreak but we survived that and we’re on the right road here too.

“We’ve managed to avert a disaster and we’re looking okay.

“When we didn’t have the bar there was a bit of a hole in the cashflow but it needed to be done to keep everyone safe.

“The committee have been great and we’ve got a lot of good people. I can’t thank them enough.”

Despite the relaxing of restrictions surrounding outdoor activities, many events that the club would normally put on have been cancelled this year.

However, members did contribute to the local foodbank through entry money for the Cumbrae Cup, the biggest and oldest competition on the island.

Walter added: “We’ve still not been able to stage proper open tournaments, but we have managed to put on some competitions.

“Unfortunately we are not going to have a prizegiving this year which is quite upsetting as that is a highlight of the calendar.

“I also have to give a special mention to the women’s section which has been fantastic, they have been playing every week.

“I am stepping down as captain in February but hopefully I am leaving the club in a good place for the next person."