A GOLF club is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a record 200 members for the first time in 30 years.

Fresh blood and a new committee have helped to transform the fortunes of Port Glasgow Golf Club.

Captain Nicky Rodger and match secretary Steven McLeod helped to bring the club back from the brink.

Nicky, 47, who has been a member since he was 16, said: "I became captain three years ago.

"There had been a massive fall in membership, debt problems and no way out.

"The club was potentially on the verge of closure.

"There was change of committee at an EGM and we set a target of a minimum 150 members

"Steven became match secretary and instantly changed the whole dynamic of the competitions.

"He took the club to a whole new level and put his heart and soul into it."

Thanks to the new modern approach, the club brought in a hi-tech scoring system which meant they were perfectly teed up to restart play when lockdown was lifted.

Nicky said: "Steven brought the scoring system from the 1980s into the 21st century.

"With our new system players are able to use their mobile phone instead of score cards.

"Only eight golf clubs in Scotland could play competitive golf when restrictions were lifted.

"Steven and our secretary David Cupples worked tirelessly around the clock in their own time to make it happen."

Nicky meanwhile contacted former members and people he knew with an interest in golf and put the word around local workplaces as part of a major recruitment drive during the pandemic lockdown.

He said: "Over the last four to five months I phoned around 600 to 700 people and we now have between 80 and 90 new members.

"It's the first time in 30 years that we have reached 200, with a realistic target of 250 for next year.

"We have a junior section that now has around 50 kids who enjoy free lessons - back in 2017 the club had only six junior members.

"We should see the benefits next year when we hope to to reduce our long-term members' fees."

The club is very much a family affair for barber Nicky, of Carnabys.

His dad took him along and now his sons Stefan and Ciaran are members too.

He said: "I've got a passion for the course and want to see the club thrive.

"There's no reason why we can't grow bigger each year."

The busy committee have also overseen an upgrade of the clubhouse, which had been underused.

Nicky said: "We had very few functions, so we started to promote our facilities to host weddings, christenings and parties and also put on Christmas party nights and cabarets which were very successful and started to generate more bookings.

"One of our members, Robert Ingram, painted the whole place himself and is now starting to paint outside.

"Everyone helped and members have been brilliant in making it work.

"There is a good bit of camaraderie."

Nicky praised everyone at the golf for pitching in, such as former treasurer Tommy Logan, who donated the paint for the redecoration, David Cupples and Mark Archdeacon, club secretaries, bar convenor Mark Deegan, who dealt with all the licensing issues during the pandemic, Jim McCurdy, greenkeeper, and greens convener Evan Conway, plus treasurer Tommy McShane who delayed his retirement for a year to help the committee out.

Nicky said: "We can't thank him enough.

"He said he couldn't leave the club in a time of need and he was at the forefront in helping recruit new members.

"It's a new chapter in the history of the club and we are looking to the future."