“We are all so sad and angry to think people could do this”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 10, 2020 06:48

A historic golf club that has said it will close down next year has had vandals tear up its course, and the damage is so severe that it may still be affected even after the latest lockdown ends.

The 125-year-old Cleeve Hill Golf Club in Gloucestershire announced two months ago that it would permanently close at the end of this winter, after an independent review concluded golf on the site was not financially sustainable without significant investment, although it emerged just days before the attack that the venue could be saved.

However, with challenging finances and having just been hit by the news that English golf clubs will have to be closed for 28 days, the venue has now discovered that vandals in a car drove over the course, damaging the surface.

Tyre tracks were found across the venue, including on the 10th green, as if the driver had performed ‘doughnut’ manoeuvers.

General manager Joe Vaughan said this is a further blow to the club.

He added that the damage will cost thousands of pounds to repair and the grass may not grow back in time for reopening.

“We’ve got a month to try to get the green playable,” he said.

“Our issue is going to be, as what’s widely known, as a business we’re closing up on March 31, 2021.

Cleeve Hill Golf Club after the attack. Image from Facebook

“There’s not a lot invested after the year that we’ve had – and even if we had unlimited resources, we’re going into the winter where you’re not going to get the growth in the grass.

“If you’re able to put soil, top-dressing and seed down, it would take an enormous amount of time to grow back anyway.

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time to be honest, so frustrating.”

He has not yet assessed the damage to the green, although he is projecting a cost of between £3,000 to £5,000 damage.

He went on to say that once the assessment had been made, they will be submitting a report to Gloucestershire police.

A spokesman added: “This is now going to take weeks / months to repair, costing money and will be unplayable. We are all so sad and angry to think people could do this. We hope it won’t take long to repair, but please bear with us. We will try and do something during lockdown whilst people can’t play golf.”

This comes just days after various parties came forward to express an interest in taking over the site – potentially keeping golf going there.

Councillor Robert Vines, lead member for finance and asset management, said: “We were so disappointed to be faced with closing Cleeve Hill Golf Club and so to have received this level of interest is nothing short of fantastic.

“We will be working hard to ensure we move quickly and we hope interested parties will be able to put forward bids in the coming weeks.”

Cleeve Common Trust chairman Phil Robson said: “The trustees are keen to preserve this part of its heritage and are really pleased the future for golf on this iconic course looks more promising.

“We will be working closely with the council as it seeks to find a new golf operator who will also provide facilities for the community at large.”

He continued: “Of course, the trust will be seeking to balance the competing needs of preserving the ecology and ancient monuments of this Site of Special Scientific Interest while facilitating its enjoyment by golfers, walkers, runners, horse riders, cyclists and many other visitors.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 10, 2020 06:48
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  1. Hirsch November 12, 11:56

    Another reason to bring back the death penalty

    Reply to this comment
  2. Catherine C November 11, 12:08

    So crazy this world !!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter November 10, 17:58

    A historic golf club, preparing to close down, suffers severe damage to its course ? Tells me one thing !! Likely, no connection and relationship with those in it’s primary market !! Often, why these “events” keep happening !!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Jari November 10, 17:17

    What a ****, so sad, and hope to get caught.

    Reply to this comment
  5. MichelleS November 10, 13:50

    This is sad indictment of the society in which we now live. Heartbreaking for the owners and players alike.

    Reply to this comment
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