Greater Manchester golf club is 4th to announce March / April closure

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 18, 2019 22:35

A golf club in Rochdale has become at least the fourth in the UK to say it will close down in late March or early April.

None of the clubs have stated that Brexit has anything to do with their closures and it is thought it’s more to do with membership renewal dates typically being in early April – but it is very rare for so many to state they will close on certain dates so close to each other in the future.

North Luffenham in the East Midlands, Maywood in Derbyshire and Redhill and Reigate in Surrey have all said they will close on March 31, while Marland Golf Course has now said it will close in April – possibly the date its season tickets traditionally start, April 1.

Its current operator, Link4Life, has said the running of the course is “no longer viable”.

Andy King, CEO, said: “Marland Golf Course provided a number of key challenges for Link4Life.

“Whilst the course itself is of a good quality, we recognised that significant capital investment would be required to improve the physical assets at the site. For example, the building infrastructure and this, alongside a national trend of decreasing membership numbers in golf, has resulted in a gradual decline in Marland Golf Course members, poor financial performance and a reduction in long-term sustainability for a number of years.

“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that it is no longer viable for Link4Life, as a charity, to be the sole operator of Marland Golf Course beyond April 2019 and undertook consultation to explore alternative options, including working with other providers, for the operation of Marland Golf Course.

“The consultation resulted in a few proposals which were presented to Rochdale Borough Council, but after evaluation, unfortunately none were sufficiently robust to ensure that the golf course would be sustainable in the short to medium term.

“As a result of the outcomes of this process, Link4Life will no longer operate the golf course and it will close with the management of the golf course being subsequently handed back to Rochdale Borough Council. The council will incorporate a review of the future of the golf course as part of its overall strategic review of all estates and other assets and will be conducting further consultation to invite people to submit their views.

“We understand that this is disappointing news, especially for customers using the golf course, but without an alternative option being available, it is not viable for Link4Life to continue with the management of the golf course long term.”

Councillor Janet Emsley, the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture, said: “Since 2010 we have had to make £178 million of savings as our funding from government has been cut dramatically.

“We still have huge savings to make and there is no sign that cuts to council budgets are going to end, which means we have no choice but to keep making difficult decisions about where our resources should be directed. We realise that the members of the club will be disappointed by this news but as no viable long-term solution could be found, we cannot continue to fund a golf course when interest in the sport is dwindling.

“The council will now look at the options for future use of the site and we will be inviting people to submit their views through a consultation.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 18, 2019 22:35
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  1. djm February 21, 18:37

    Trying to insinuate Leaving the EU has anything to do with golf club closure is truly pathetic

    Reply to this comment
  2. Pete February 21, 15:50

    Link4Life is stuck in the rut of traditional thinking that is killing the golf game. Today, you have to consider Economy & Efficiency to survive!
    Try scaling down the design of the course to Mid-size…adopt the new Hybrid MD golf ball for full play in 1/2 the time & cost…use the land saved for development…attract a new generation of golfer looking for an enjoyable golf experience!

    Smaller compact courses are coming…bigger are fading!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Cara Mia February 18, 17:37

    March 31st = end of financial year. Likeliest reason I’d say.

    Reply to this comment
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