Crown Golf sells its seventh golf club in 2020

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 13, 2020 09:26

Crown Golf has sold its seventh golf club this year – with the new owner stating it is discontinuing the membership at the latest venue and will run it as a pay-and-play facility instead.

Members of Merrist Wood Golf Club in Surrey have received correspondence from Stephen Towers, chief executive of Crown Golf, to say that ‘the sale of Merrist Wood Golf Course to Lavershot Oaks has now been completed.’

Towers states that the venue has struggled financially in recent years – a situation that has only been made worse by the pandemic.

‘After careful consideration the new owners have taken the decision that they wish to operate as a pay to play course and therefore have not purchased the club and the membership,’ states the email.

‘This is to allow them the freedom to develop their plans for the site, which they hope to invest in over the coming years, without the requirement to maintain all services on a constant basis. They are keen that existing golfers continue to patronise the course and have indicated they will be extending discounted green fee offers to existing members of the club, who wish to continue playing the course.

Stephen Towers

‘This does mean that membership golf will no longer continue in its current format at Merrist Wood.

‘I appreciate that this will no doubt be disappointing for many long standing members, but unfortunately Merrist Wood Golf Club has found it difficult to operate over an extended period and without significant parental support would be unable to continue.

‘The upheaval of 2020 has only seen to accelerate this outlook and therefore driven the need to make this sale.’

Prior to the pandemic, Crown Golf, which owned 25 golf courses in 2012, stated that it had evolved from ‘a purely golf course operating business into a property development company’.

So far this year it has also sold Hampton Court Palace Golf Club, Surrey, Oak Park Golf Club, Surrey, Pyrford Golf Club, Surrey, Sherfield Oaks Golf Club, Hampshire, Mill Green Golf Club, Hertfordshire, and The Bristol Golf Club, South Gloucestershire, meaning it now runs eight golf venues.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 13, 2020 09:26
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5 Comments

  1. No supprise October 23, 11:17

    Club purchased by a new Company with two of the directors be Shareholders of Wooldridge a Demolition, Construction / Bulk Aggregate Business.

    that’s now run it as a pay and play Hmmm wonder what the land will be ultimately used for…….

    Reply to this comment
  2. Chris October 10, 15:33

    Loss leader! We all know that annual fees are the life blood of a golf club. This doesn’t bode well and is instinctively a knee jerk reaction to the pandemic we are in. The clubs we work with at Fairway Credit have seen numbers coming back and can flourish, if the relied solely on green fees I think we would see mass closures. #fairwaycredit #premiumcredit

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter October 9, 14:00

    New owners don’t always take the time to know and connect with membership ! Sometimes, they represent the best road to success !

    Reply to this comment
  4. BigMac October 9, 10:14

    Merrist Wood is pretty close to being a pay-and-play at present, like all Crown courses. So I wonder how the new owners, who have no experience in golf, can succeed where a dedicated golf management business has allegedly failed. They’ll have to bring in a lot of additional green fees to make up for the lost member revenues, which must be a few hundred thousand pounds per year.

    In reality, this has all the hallmarks of a long-term property development plan – especially as Lavershot Oaks is categorised at Companies House as “68100 – Buying and selling of own real estate”.

    Et tu, Crown Golf …

    Reply to this comment
  5. GKMA October 9, 10:01

    Not all good in Golf?

    Reply to this comment
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