South Ayrshire Council has committed £1 million to address drainage, staff and health and safety issues across its eight golf courses.

The move comes despite a decision in the summer to defer investment until a business case had been considered for each course.

In March a cross-party group of councillors began work on SAC’s proposed golf strategy. The main focus of the strategy included investment, pricing, business model, partnerships with clubs and environmental sustainability.

At a meeting of the authority's leadership panel in June, councillors agreed that officers should ‘enter into consultation with season ticket holders, golf clubs who play on council courses and the wider public’.

This would cover proposals for a future operating model for golf and to defer any decision on investment until the consultation had been completed and a business case prepared.

However, councillors agreed to authorise an immediate spend to deal with urgent issues.

Among the main priorities highlighted in the report to a full council meeting on Thursday was £55,000 storm damage to the roof of the machinery storage shed at Troon Links.

This led to an inspection of staff and machinery storage at Troon Links and Belleisle, with a number of recommendations made to ensure both meet health and safety standards.

There have also been drainage issues at a number of South Ayrshire’s courses.

The golf strategy report goes on to outline the results of a survey carried out in the summer to identify the main concerns about the playability of the courses.

Drainage, infrastructure to allow winter play, and environmental and pest management were the top concerns of local golfers.

Such was the prevalence of the drainage concerns that councillors were asked to approve £1m to address the problems at the earliest opportunity, ahead of the summer season starting in April.

The report indicates that Troon Links and Belleisle, being the most popular and highest income generating courses, should be prioritised to avoid disruption during the playing season.

The main work around the strategy will focus on developing individual business cases for each of the eight courses run by SAC to ‘ensure that golf is affordable and accessible to all’.

The report states: “The development of a future operating model for golf will include proposals for investment in course infrastructure or in redevelopment of courses for other uses and these will carry financial implications.”