Two more golf clubs saved from closure

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham September 17, 2015 11:31

Two more golf clubs have had their futures secured despite entering severe financial difficulty.

Mentmore Golf and Country Club in Bedfordshire ceased trading this summer while Wrangaton Golf Club in Devon had entered liquidation earlier this year.

A newly formed company, Mentmore Golf Corporate, backed by the golf club’s previous owner, after a proposed members’ buy-out failed to happen, has purchased the golf club.

Wrangatongolfcourse

Wrangaton GC

The venue ceased trading due to financial difficulties in June and was placed into administration in July.

In June Mentmore’s director Matthew Bees emailed the members to say: ‘The golf club industry has suffered immensely in the last few years.

‘The operating costs are evidence of the tremendous overheads, which has led to some deterioration in the upkeep and maintenance of this club.

‘The low cost of membership is not justified with the high overheads of the upkeep of the buildings and maintaining the good quality of the facilities.

‘We have done our utmost to provide the best facilities possible, but regretfully could not increase the membership numbers or fees as this would have adversely effected membership numbers.

‘Additionally, a large reduction in footfall, revenue and members’ spend over the last few years has increased the pressure on the business to a position where the model is untenable.’

The club’s members have told its local newspaper, The Bucks Herald, that they have concerns about the new buyer.

Club captain Martin Cowling said: “Many members have paid out considerable sums in five year membership deals – some as recently as last September, and they could be left high and dry by this potentially controversial deal.

“Whilst we are naturally pleased that the ownership of the club has been resolved, we are keen to hear the owner’s plans, as it is essentially the same people running the club as under the previous regime.”

Meanwhile the future of Wrangaton Golf Club has also been secured following its sale to nearby Bovey Tracey Golf Club.

Wrangaton experienced declining membership subscriptions and a liquidator was appointed earlier this year.

The purchase by a former rival golf club means that members and visitors to both facilities will be provided with an enhanced golfing experience, said a spokesman.

A statement from new owners, the Barter family, of Bovey Tracey Golf Club, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be taking on ownership of Wrangaton Golf Club and will be working hard, together with our staff, to ensure its future success. Being located in such a beautiful part of the world, we know there is real potential for the club to increase its membership and attract golfers from across the country.

“Crucially, we see Wrangaton as complementary to Bovey Tracey, the two clubs will each retain their own identity, but members will have the opportunity for dual membership if they wish, enabling them to play both courses.”

Wrangaton was formed in 1895 and five members of staff were made redundant after it entered liquidation.

Earlier this year Llangefni Golf Course in Wales was saved despite being earmarked for closure.

 

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham September 17, 2015 11:31
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1 Comment

  1. Chris Sweetnam September 17, 16:48

    …..ALLEGEDLY (to cover myself!!)

    Some very dodgy goings on at ?Mentmore gc!! The guy got loads of members to pay years worth of membership in advance at a reduced rate plus they wanted to get rid of the debenture members that were paying a vastly reduced rate! So now the club went bust and everyone loses their money and they can start again. No one gets any of their money back the debenture members that could previously have sold their debentures on have lost out as have the people that paid year up front… The company / owner has got previous history of doing things like this before and is being investigated by the authorities basically as fraud.

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