Askernish dispute is finally settled


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The long-running dispute over the restoration of the Askernish golf course on South Uist in the Scottish islands appears to have been settled.

Extensive discussions between Askernish Golf Club, Stòras Uibhist, the community company that now owns the island, and the seven Askernish crofters who have led the opposition to the project, have resulted in a settlement agreeable to all parties. The Scottish Land Court, which issued a preliminary ruling in favour of the golf club in February, is to be asked to confirm the agreement.

This deal bring to an end a lengthy saga, which has run on since the golf course restoration project began in 2006 (see GCA issue 4, p56, and a number of other articles). The original golf course at Askernish was laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1891 at the request of proprietor Lady Gordon Cathcart, and the restoration, by a team of volunteers under the guidance of greenkeeper Gordon Irvine and architect Martin Ebert, opened last summer to much acclaim.

Stòras Uibhist chairman Angus MacMillan said: “We look forward to working with the Golf Club and the Township to ensure that the Golf Course and crofting practices continue on Askernish machair as they have since 1922.”

Golf club chairman Ralph Thompson said: “Askernish Golf Club are delighted that a mutual agreement has been reached. This agreement will allow the golf course to prosper for the benefit of all the South Uist community.”