A popular putting green has been put up for lease by North Ayrshire Council - after the News raised local concerns about its ongoing closure.

It comes after a Largs councillor called for urgent improvements at the tourist attraction, which has been out of action for the past three summers. See here
Mackerston Putting Green is based on the scenic south side of the town, but was out of action during the pandemic - and last year failed to find a new operator.

As the summer season approaches it still remains closed, with crumbing facilities - and the council is vowing to carry out improvements in conjunction with KA Leisure following the News taking forward local concerns.

Conservative councillor Tom Marshall said: "I have told the council to get one of the problems sorted, which is that the starter box - where you get your putting clubs - is not in very good condition and needs to get fixed, and to advertise for a new operator

"The putting green is cut twice a week yet it has been lying empty for the past few years.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Cllr Tom MarshallCllr Tom Marshall (Image: North Ayrshire Conservatives)

The greens are owned by North Ayrshire Council, but have been leased to KA Leisure in recent years, and then further sub-contracted to operators.

The last operator of Mackerston Putting Green was local businesswoman Toni Dawson, and, prior to that, well-known Largs resident Roderick McGinty.

The putting green at Mackerston was built in the 1920s and regularly hosted putting competitions over the years under the auspices of The Brisbane Queen Festival.

Councillor Marshall continued: "I don't want this attraction to fall by the wayside for another summer, and ideally I would like to see new operators as soon as possible.

"It is an important tourist attraction and one of the reasons why people like to come and visit Largs.

"We need to act now to bring it back, or it may never happen."

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Mackerston Putting Green opened in the 1920s and a firm favourite down the generationsMackerston Putting Green opened in the 1920s and a firm favourite down the generations (Image: NAC)

A KA Leisure spokesperson said: "The lease KA Leisure held for Mackerston Putting Green expired in March 2020 with the option of extending the lease not taken up. However, we continue to operate the Barrfields Putting Green in Largs."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We are currently assessing the condition of Mackerston pavilion, with a view to undertaking some improvement works.

“We are also preparing a marketing schedule to advertise for any interested parties who may wish to lease the facility and operate the putting green during the coming season.”

The North Ayrshire Council-owned Mackerston Putting Green has been without an operator since 2021.

But the local authority is now marketing the opportunity in the hope that someone can take over the venture during the upcoming summer months.

As well as the 2.3-acre putting green, the kiosk, where the balls and putters are distributed, is also part of the package.

Ahead of anyone taking over, the council is completing some repair and redecoration works to improve the building’s appearance.

Situated adjacent to the promenade at Mackerston Place, the putting green is a short walk from the town centre adjacent to the shore-front.

Full details can be viewed here or email landandproperty@north-ayrshire.gov.uk for a copy of the marketing schedule.