Fundraising golf club closes

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams May 16, 2013 10:34

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 1970s and was owned by a subsidiary of the young people’s charity the YMCA Fairthorne Group, generated a profit of £50,000 per year for its parent organisation in the 1990s, when it had around 250 members.

However, its membership dropped to approximately 50 over the last ten years and by the time it closed earlier this week the club was making a loss of £50,000 per year.

The course was reduced from 18 holes to nine last year in a bid to cut costs, but this failed to stop the losses. It will now revert to its original use as a campsite for young people.

A PGA professional in Hampshire, Shaun Hall, said the club could have made a profit if it had been run more professionally.

“It’s closure has nothing to do with the economic climate and everything to do with no greenkeeping, no maintenance, no professional golfer to help run the club, advise and bring in more clients, no advertising and overall minimal effort,” he said. “People had money to spend there.”

YMCA director Sally Arscott added: “It was simply losing money – we’re a charity and we can’t afford to continue to have operations which are losing money.

“Originally the golf course was a trading subsidiary which would Gift Aid its profits over to the charity. It was a way of fundraising.”


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams May 16, 2013 10:34
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  1. Colin Long May 16, 13:48

    I am a former Captain & Chairman of Fairthorne Manor and learned to play there. During my time at the club we had a fine course and a loyal and happy membership.  We also contributed significantly to the YMCA year after year. However, it was a constant struggle to get the YMCA to appreciate that if the golf club was to continue to be profitable, it needed to be maintained accordingly.  The reason the membership dwindled is because the course was allowed to deteriorate, when the YMCA saw fit to put course maintenance in the hands of their gardeners rather than specialist greens staff.  It is a great shame that a fine little club has gone. My best wishes go to all the people who contributed over the years.

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  2. Stephen May 16, 12:54

    Cant believe it lasted this long, sad – but even big charities need to be run like a business, and cover costs – golf clubs are no different

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  3. Alan Hughes May 16, 11:11

    Sad, but no surprise. Welcome to the real world!

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