A very interesting piece of research from Alan Mansbridge on the fragile state of some of our golf clubs. This will of course mean that Markers from the closed down clubs will now be very hard to come by.
In February 2014 it was announced:-
- Garnant GC in Wales went into liquidation and has closed down.
- Belmont GC in Herefordshire announced it is to close down at the beginning of March 2014 following years of difficult trading.
- Doonbeg GC in Ireland, a Greg Norman designed course has had receivers appointed to it, it will continue trading as normal.
In January 2014 it was announced:-
- Woodham GC in Durham has gone into liquidation and has closed down.
- Mount Oswald GC in Durham closed down at the end of December 2013, the venue will be converted into buildings for housing and student accommodation.
- Torphin Hill GC in Edinburgh needs a £20k cash injection to survive. The problem has come about because its membership has dropped from 500 to 200.
- Pryors Hayes GC in Cheshire has entered administration and is still operating as a golf club.
- Reaseheath College golf course in Cheshire is to close and be converted into student accommodation.
- Seckford GC in Suffolk an example of the mixed financial fortunes of some venues. The club is thriving, with a growing membership, but it has entered administration because its members acquired a commercial company, Golf G.B. in 2008, which has been unable to service historic debt. It continues to trade.
In December 2013 it was announced:-
- Ruislip GC (Middlesex) and Uxbridge GC (Middlesex) have stated that both golf venues will close when the new HS2 is built.
In November 2013 it was announced:-
- UK’s most exclusive golf club is to open – St Andrews International Golf Club.
An exclusive golf club with £200.000 joining fees aimed at super rich foreigners is set to open at St Andrews in less than 3 years time. It will be the only private members club at the ‘home of golf’. Membership will be by invitation only and targeted at wealthy people internationally. Joining fees will range from £75,000 to £200,000 depending on one of the two types of membership available, with annual subscriptions of approximately £5,000.
- Lothianburn GC in Scotland has been closed down after its membership dropped from more than 820 to 270 in the last nine years.
- Inchmarlo GC in Aberdeenshire was placed into liquidation earlier this year.
- Whitemoss GC in Perthshire, Letham Grange GC in Angus and Craibstone GC in Aberdeen all closed between 2010 and 2011.
- Three struggling golf courses have reported a sharp improvement in their financial performances
o Portishead golf course in Somerset – a closed course that has reopened after its local council found someone prepared to take the course on and invest in it.
o Oadby golf course (Leicestershire), which closed down in 2012 following huge losses over several years, now hopes to reopen.
o Milford Haven GC in Wales, which in 2012 was on the verge of being shut down as it owed debts of £600,000. It is now reporting that its finances are far more healthier.
In October 2013 it was announced:-
- Cambridge GC has closed down and will be converted into a new town’s housing estate. At least 1500 homes will be on the former golf course.
In September 2013 it was announced:-
- Wimbledon champion’s Andy Murray’s mother, Judy Murray, has teamed up with Colin Montgomery to announce that a purpose built tennis and golf centre is to be built in Scotland between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.
In August 2013 it was announced:-
- Four clubs have been put up for sale.......
o South Weald GC in Essex controversially closed in 2012, when it was called Weald Park GC, it has reopened as a pay and play venue, cost is £1.75m.
o Northop Golf and Country Park in Wales announced that it wants to sell the 20 year old Flintshire golf club designed by former Ryder Cup player, John Jacobs.
o Waldringfield Golf Course in Suffolk, 30 years old, is offered with vacant possession at a guide price of £1.25m.
o Grange and Links hotel in Sandilands is being marketed by Christie & Co for £1.75m
- Hawick GC in Scotland announced an immediate 13.5% increase on membership subscriptions to address a financial shortfall. The club’s full membership has dropped from more than 300 to just 114 in the last 10 years, and is on course to make a loss of more than £20,000 for 2013.
In June 2013 it was announced:-
- Four clubs saved from going under.........
o Redhill and Reigate GC in Surrey is one of the world’s oldest private members clubs, but it has agreed to convert to proprietary ownership. Members of the 126 year old venue are selling the club, which was on the verge of folding, to a consortium led by a golf professional.
o Tamworth golf course, Staffordshire, and Keele golf course, Staffordshire, were both run by Jack Barker Golf Company, which entered liquidation in February 2013. Tamworth closed down in February 2013, but it has reopened because Tamworth Borough Council, which owns the land it is situated on, has agreed to manage the venue for the next two years. Keele Golf Course stayed open in the days following Jack Barker’s fall, but the venue had made eight employees redundant. Its local authority, Newcastle Borough Council, has also taken control of the site and has pledged to keep it open until it sells it.
o Tynedale GC in Northumberland is a 105 year old municipal venue that its local council was going to cut funding to. However, the club agreed a deal with councillors regarding the purchase of course machinery.
- A golf club that used to donate all its profits to a charity has been closed down after its membership dropped to just 50 people. Fairthorne Manor Golf Club in Hampshire, which was opened in the early 1970’s did have some 250 members in the 1990’s. The course was cut from 18 holes to 9 holes in 2012 in a bid to cut costs. It will now revert to its original use as a campsite for young people.
In may 2013 it was announced:-
- Blarney Golf Resort – Ireland is up for sale.
- Limerick County Golf and Country Club – Ireland is closing down.
- Now Killarney Golf and Fishing Club - Ireland, which hosted the Irish Open in 2010 and 2011, has revealed that it has made 21 of its 41 members of staff redundant.
- Two golf clubs mergers have been approved.........
o The members of Newbury & Crookham GC in Berkshire have approved plans to operate the golfing facilities at nearby Newbury Racecourse Golf Club.
o Stressholme Golf Course (municipal) in Darlington is to be sold to Blackwell Grange Golf Club (Private Members’).