Local authority to invest heavily in golf because it ‘will deliver returns’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 19, 2020 10:49

A Merseyside council is to invest more than half a million pounds in its golf offerings, including building two driving ranges, because it believes it will achieve a return on investment of double this in a decade.

Many councils have cut investments in their golf courses because they are making losses, but Sefton Council has forecast that its two golf courses can generate a surplus of over £1 million over a 10-year period, provided they are of a good enough quality.

The local authority has approved plans to invest £536,360 in two municipal sites at Bootle Golf Course and Southport Golf Links. Both will see the construction of new driving range facilities.

Southport Golf Links

Work will start on the driving range at Bootle this spring with the facility expected to be completed during summer 2020. The work at Southport Golf Links should follow afterwards.

This follows a consultation last year with local residents who highlighted the importance of new practice facilities and investment in course infrastructure.

The ranges will both include a dedicated coaching bay, with the floodlit facilities enabling participants to play into the evening on a ‘pay as you play’ basis.

Round and membership prices at both courses have been held at last year’s fees for 2020, with a wider selection of food and drinks available at the on-site golf shops. All existing facilities will remain open to members and non-members during any works.

Cllr Ian Moncur

Plans are also in development to upgrade the buildings at both golf courses to offer improved changing facilities, shop, hospitality and food and drink offerings.

Sefton Council is hoping to attract more young golfers to the two courses and plans to offer free-play to under 16s in the future.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Driving ranges are a great facility for people to learn, practise and play golf. The new driving ranges will enhance Sefton’s municipal courses, which provide affordable, good quality facilities for people to enjoy the sport.

“The project supports Sefton Council’s ‘2030 Vision’ and will encourage new people young and old to participate in golf. The surplus the driving ranges are forecast to generate will enable the council to invest further in front-line services.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 19, 2020 10:49
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1 Comment

  1. Peter February 13, 14:13

    When I hear, ” following consultant with local residents”, I’m encouraged and hopeful !

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