Social media campaign to save golf club

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 14, 2012 14:52

A municipal golf club that is set to be closed down by its local council has become the subject of a social media campaign that aims to save it.

Loss-making Oadby Golf Club in Leicestershire, half of which resides in the middle of Leicester Racecourse, is due to close at the end of March, after Oadby and Wigston Borough Council found it was not deemed to be a priority for local residents.

The club is set to cost the council £100,000 for this financial year and Anne Court, director of services at the council, said: “The council had to balance the budget for the coming year and part of that involved making a decision about the golf course. A recent consultation revealed it was consistently the lowest on the list of priorities.”

Three greenkeepers have been offered voluntary redundancy.

There are complications surrounding the closure however, which is giving campaigners hope that the club can be saved.

The club is owned by Leicester Racecourse, which has leased it to the council until 2015, and the local authority now wants to terminate the contract early. If it fails to do this then the council will have to maintain the course for the next three years to ensure it does not become a ‘wilderness’, although it would not be to a golf course standard.

If it is successful in ending the contract then the racecourse has not ruled out investing in the club, which it says could be commercially viable.

Furthermore, former municipal clubs such as Roseberry Grange Community Golf Club have survived despite being earmarked for closure, after the councils let the members own them.

Rich Primrose, secretary of Oadby, said this was a potential solution.

“The club could take it on perhaps,” he said.

“If there are enough club members willing to put into it, that could be an option. It has happened elsewhere.”

With some hope that the council can be saved, Leicestershire & Rutland County Golf Partnership yesterday tweeted: ‘Any rich investors out there want to help save Oadby Golf Club? Plz RT #SaveOadbyGolfClub’. Within a few hours several people and organisations, including Golf Monthly magazine, had retweeted this or sent their own message via social media with the same hashtag. It is believed over 22,000 people have now been informed of Oadby Golf Club’s needs.

The club, which has 168 members, turned over £133,000 last year. Part of its loss was attributed to the £23,000 lease fee that the club is billed annually.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 14, 2012 14:52
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  1. Phil Rodgers March 24, 02:02

    Could not agree more with Jon Briggs

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  2. Jon Briggs March 21, 08:58

    This is such a shame for the members who support the club superbly, the whole reason the club is being forced to close down is due to the 3 and I use this term extremely loosely “greenkeepers”, the 3 of them cost in excess of £100k per annum. Approximately £35k per man is typically the wage of an experienced Head greenkeeper, not for 3 lazy 50 year old men who struggle just to cut grass, never mind actually improve the course. Most clubs operate with 1 Head greenkeeper paid approx £30k per annum, with 2 younger greenkeepers on approx £15 per annum – This would equate to £60k in total and not the ridiculous £100k that Oadby were being drained of. The greenkeepers were extremely lazy and were not at all suitable for the job, just council employed bods who had no idea and certainly no desire to turn out a course of good condition. The wages spent should easily be enough to ensure that the course is improved, then maintained to a good level, therefore making membership levels higher and more visitors would have paid to pay, all of which increasing revenue levels through green fees, competitions, and spend at the bar and pro shop.

    So to the 2 brothers and the other greenkeeper, many thanks for ruining what could have been a great little course and a superb club. I am sure that you will take your handsome redundancy pay cheques, rub your lazy hands together and never look back – Spare a thought for the youth of today that have one less activity in the local area to keep them off the streets – Makes me sick!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. john butler (@1or2cds) March 3, 02:03

    » Social media campaign to save golf club

    Reply to this comment
  4. ProGAMEUK (@ProGAMEUK) February 15, 08:25

    » Social media campaign to save golf club

    Reply to this comment
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