CAMPAIGNERS are fighting to save Inverclyde’s only municipal golf course as its future comes under real threat.

Worried Whinhill Golf Club members have drawn up an action plan and are urging council bosses to secure the council-run course before it is too late.

Inverclyde Council say that the course is too expensive to run and costs them £150,000 a year.

They have proposed offloading it to a third party as part of a list of cutbacks designed to save cash.

But club officials say it should never have come to this and claim they have put proposals to officials which could have saved around £400,000 over the last eight years.

Secretary John Lawrence said: “I think they want to close it down in the long term.

“We have made suggestions year after year.

“They have not listened to any of our ideas to increase the number of people on the course. 

“They just keep putting prices up and that drives people away.

“We are more expensive to play a round of golf than private clubs and if a third party takes over the costs will rise even more.

“I dispute the £150,000 figure.

“In other places municipal courses are thriving.”

Ideas drawn up by Whinhill officials include discounted membership schemes, promoting the course and special offers.

Mr Lawrence says a simple plan to help reduce a £7,000-a-year heating bill was also tabled.

He said: “We are prepared to do whatever we can. 

“I had to point out to them that up until recently they had the heating on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round.”

John has also suggested reducing plant maintenance — in line with moves taken by private clubs — and believes this could reduce the annual deficit by around £40,000.

He added: “That is a conservative figure.”

Two years ago the council proposed to close Whinhill course altogether and now there are fresh fears that its future could be in jeopardy, despite having a thriving junior section under committee stalwart Gavin Havlin.

Councillor Jim McEleny says he will fight to save the course.

He said: “It could close through stealth. There are cuts after cuts. I am acting in the interest of my constituents. I think Whinhill Golf Club is a jewel in the crown.”