Golf Club update first quarter 2020

In April 2020 it was announced

  • Several golf clubs and representatives of the golf industry have urged golf club members to continue paying their subscriptions despite them not being able to play during the Coronavirus lockdown. Now more than ever, members need to stick by their club.
  • Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, a Leicestershire golf course which has hosted tournaments for the European Senior Tour is to close down on October 31 st 2020, a spokeswoman stated the venue struggled with low membership numbers.
  • A US study into mortality among the over 65s in the 1990s, which has just been published, has found participants tended to live longer if they played golf at least once a month.
  • A Peter Alliss designed golf club, Aston Wood Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield, one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the Midlands, has been sold for just £58,000 to its landlord due to extreme market conditions and a clause in its lease. The club was turning over more than £1.75million pa just three years ago and was bought for £650,000 in 2000. The club had lost over 150 members since it was first put up for sale in 2008.

In March 2020 it was announced

  • Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club in Suffolk hopes to embark on a multi-million pound (£6m) project that would include building homes and a new clubhouse in order to safeguard its future.
  • Ravenmeadow Golf Centre in Worcestershire has set up a club for people over the age of 50 to play board games with each other in a move to tackle isolation.
  • Sand Martins Golf Club in Berkshire that was established in 1993 has applied for planning permission to build a hotel and health club, as part of a major project.
  • Gourock Golf Club in Renfrewshire is set to embark on nearly a quarter of a million pounds worth of improvements to its clubhouse, after recently investing a similar amount in a development studio.
  • Five golf courses in Scotland that have suffered from low usage in recent years could be closed down – Littlehill, Lethamhill, Linn Park, Ruchill and Alexandra Park.
  • Brocket Hall has been sold just two days after it entered administration.
  • Eighteen of the 27 holes at the picturesque links club in Inverness – Loch Ness Golf Club – closed down at the end of February 2020 – with the club posting online that it is ‘furious’ with the decision.
  • Silsden Golf Club, a 109 year-old golf club in West Yorkshire that has ‘struggled’ with the upkeep of the facility’ in recent years has announced it will close down at the end of March 2020.

In February 2020 it was announced

  • Two golf clubs have announced they will convert from 18 holes to nine in a bid to secure their futures. Craigie Hill Golf Club near Perth will create a ‘transition fund’ to cover costs and debts, and says it will preserve the current 18 hole set up and clubhouse facility for a period of up to five years. Meanwhile, Hilltop Golf Course in Birmingham is to be revamped so that it will feature a nine hole course, an 18 hole footgolf course, a new clubhouse and a 22 bay driving range. The club has closed for three years so that the £1.2 million project will be carried out.
  • A published golf author and a golf radio host have taken over Sunningdale Heath Golf Club in Berkshire – the club that once had the Queen Mother as its Captain.
  • The owner of a prestigious golf club has acquired another club in the same county for an undisclosed fee. Prince’s Golf Club in Kent has acquired Chart Hills Golf Club via its owner and operator, Ramac Holdings.
  • Members of a golf club in Bradford have been discussing the sale of the facility to a housing developer. Queensbury Golf Club has confirmed that there had been an approach but discussions were at an early stage.
  • The holding company of a leading Scottish golf resort has been sold in a deal worth £135 million. Fairmont St Andrews, featuring two championship golf courses, has been sold to Great Century.
  • A Staffordshire golf club has been bought by a group of five individuals including the club’s current managing director.
  • Branston Golf & Country Club was sold at the end of 2019.
  • A Northumberland golf club that has financially struggled in recent years has been given the green light to have nearly 100 new homes built on part of its current course to prevent it from closing down. The proposals involve the construction of 92 homes at Blyth Golf Club.

In January 2020 it was announced

  • One of the world’s oldest golf clubs – Royal North Devon Golf Club, founded in 1864 – has banned plastic tees and will only allow wooden tees.
  • A golf club in Leicestershire has submitted a planning application to build a new 18 hole golf course and then relocate to it. Scraptoft Golf Club says the course will be in Houghton on the Hill. Scraptoft Golf Club’s existing site at Scraptoft, on the edge of Leicester, is allocated for new homes and infrastructure in the recently adopted Harborough Local Plan.
  • Two golf clubs, one in England and one in Scotland, changed their names as they headed into 2020. Polmont Golf Club in Falkirk, which announced in October it was about to close down, only to be saved a few days later, has become Braes Golf Centre. Meanwhile, Boughton Golf Club in Kent has been rebranded as The Cave Hotel and Golf Resort, as part of a £12 million project spearheaded by its owners James Tory and Johnathan Callister.
  • Another two English golf courses could see housing complexes built on them according to reports. Regent Park Golf Club has signed an agreement with developer Beck Developments to build 280 homes on the ‘periphery of the golf course’. Meanwhile, Langdon Hills Golf and Country Club in Essex ‘could be transformed in a major new community development with apartments for the over 55s’.