Campaign launched to save Colt golf course

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 15, 2021 07:05

A campaign has been launched to save a Derbyshire golf course that closed last year but remains in a playable state.

The municipal Harry Colt-designed 18-hole Allestree Park Golf Course was told by its council that it must permanently close at the end of last year, because ‘the course operated significantly below capacity and at a deficit on a consistent basis, which was unsustainable.’

Four bids were received to run the golf course, one of only two Colt-designed municipal venues, but none of them were able to demonstrate they were viable, stated the council.

However, the council then agreed that the course could remain in a playable condition in 2021, to attract further bids – and its closure on December 31 was only a few days before all golf courses in England had to close for nearly three months anyway, due to Covid-19.

Allestree Park Golf Course. Image from Facebook

A petition has now been set up to save the course – and has already attracted more than 25,000 signatures, and the website www.saveallestreegolfcourse.co.uk has been created.

Spokesman Andrew Picken said: “The course, which featured a unique island tee box never seen anywhere else in Colt’s over 320 designs, was still being played every day despite a lack of investment and attention.

“I am being forced to watch this course die a slow death having received no attention from its owners since before Christmas.

“The demand for golf has never been greater. Local private courses are fully subscribed and are limiting visitor access to benefit paid subscription members. None of these venues could be viewed as affordable in comparison to Allestree Park.

“Green fees in December, despite appalling weather, rose 300 percent.

“The council are claiming a cost saving of £69,000 in a recently announced budget. But they have committed to pay £32,000 to maintain the course as an absorbed parkland. They’re throwing away all this for a saving of £37,000 and losing the chance to actually generate income from a council resource that is about to experience increased demand.

“It is a municipal course, accessible to all, and was an entry pathway into the game for myself, over 16 current PGA professionals in the Midlands and a Ryder Cup player and captain. The golf industry is promoting its health and well-being benefits. Golf can be played by all ages and both sexes but it needs accessible and affordable entry points into the game. This is a perfect venue for such use and it is being allowed to die a slow death.

“Post pandemic we are in a different world, surely a flexible approach would suit all parties, allowing income generation?”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 15, 2021 07:05
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2 Comments

  1. Andrew Picken March 15, 13:21

    We would appreciate support from the golf industry at large. This is a special venue hashtag #MunicipalGolfMatters as it is a pathway into the game

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack April 12, 12:07

      Hi Andrew…..I`m not unfortunately from the golf industry…just a concerned dad who wanted to take their 7 yr old for a first round of golf at Allestree Park..

      I do however have some ideas floating around in my head that might contribute to saving the course…is there a forum on committee for saving the course?

      Reply to this comment
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