TORVEAN Golf Club has sparked fury over plans to change its name after 58 years.
Its president Hamish Spence said its relocation to the other side of the A82, publicly funded to the tune of just over £12 million, was the perfect opportunity to rebrand itself Kings Golf Course Inverness.
But the news was met with an angry reaction from a passionate local historian whose views are gathering support.
Bill Anderson, a former Inverness Local History Forum chairman, said: “Why should private members of a golf club decide on the name when it’s public money that’s spent on the course?
“The public in that particular area of Inverness West should have been consulted. I’m getting a letter off to the council’s chief executive seeking an explanation.”
The council leases the land to the golf club and is currently funding a new course as part of plans for enhanced sports facilities made possible with the building of the Inverness West Link.
Mr Spence explained that the name “Kings” stemmed from the Pictish origin of the land around the course.
“We felt we were moving away from the name Torvean because that’s the name of the hill that dominates the existing course,” he said.
He said other names put into the hat included King Brude Golf Course, and the Great Glen Golf Course “but Kings Golf Course Inverness had a very clear majority”.
He said the council was made aware of the plan and there was no objection.
He added: “From our point of view, it’s a members’ club and the decision on whether to change the name or not was down to the members.”
This was backed by the council’s Inverness City area manager David Hass.
He said the golf club is “a member-led organisation” and the naming issue was therefore “one for the club”.
Inverness West ward councillor Graham Ross agreed saying: “I have some sympathy, but we’d have ended up with hundreds of suggestions”.
The issue was debated on an Inverness forum on social media.
One user said: “If public money was used a public vote was required.”
Another said: “I’d get funny looks if I said ‘I’m away to play a round at the Kings’.”