Members go to local newspaper to complain about state of their golf club

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 22, 2016 12:18

Disgruntled members of Beacon Park Golf Centre in Lancashire have taken the extraordinary step of complaining about its state to their local newspaper in a bid to see improvements carried out.

The municipal golf club is still owned by West Lancashire Council but it has been operated West Lancashire Community Leisure, with Serco, since 2012.

The members have gone to Wigan Today, publisher of the Wigan Observer and Wigan Evening Post, to say that the club has gone downhill since the changeover.

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Club captain Tom Jackson, 66, said: “Serco took over in 2012 and since then it’s just been all downhill as far as we’re concerned.

“There was supposed to be about £500,000 spent on the course but it’s been a bit of a shambles.

“We’re losing members and we’ve just had enough now.

“People were coming from outside the area, playing nine holes and then asking for their money back.

“Greens have got to be well maintained, fed and watered, and they’ve only just started doing that. There’s a lot of money involved in keeping greens.

“Serco was promising to build a nine-hole academy golf course where we used to have our practice area, but we’ve lost all our juniors because they took the golf shop away so there’s nowhere to buy balls or tees. Our junior organiser has gone and our golf pro has gone.

“They’ve also taken away our driving range and are going to use it for footgolf.

“We’ve also got a safety issue. You have got to put a big net all down two lanes or people driving down them are going to get a golf ball through the windscreen.

“The way they’ve built the course has got rid of a lot of trees there and golfers aren’t always going to hit balls straight.”

A large delegation from the club has also attended a meeting of West Lancashire Leisure Trust, where Serco is involved, to air its grievances.

A council spokesman said the golf course’s management had offered to work with golf club members.

He said a junior academy nine-hole golf course was scheduled to open next summer and investment in the course over the last 12 months included £90,000 for a clubhouse refurbishment, £80,000 on greens’ maintenance equipment and £20,000 on the hire of additional greens equipment and repairs to equipment.

The spokesman said: “The driving range did close in late 2015, due to minimal usage, and is being re-profiled to facilitate a new footgolf facility which will open in 2018.

“The new nine-hole facility will have further work to the landscaping and finishes. The greens are in reasonable condition and a programme of annual course maintenance is carried out.

“Overall, membership at Beacon Park GC has remained relatively static for the last three years. The ‘golf members’ club’ is a separate entity, which was given full independence by West Lancashire Community Leisure when they took over the course in 2012.”

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 22, 2016 12:18
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1 Comment

  1. Peter Kook September 22, 18:41

    SERCO !!! Everything they run is awful, should never be allowed near a golf course.

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