“This is something we said would happen when the land isn’t being used for golf”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 30, 2023 10:42

A Wirral golf course that has been closed for 14 months, while waiting to hear if it will be saved, has been repeatedly vandalised.

Brackenwood Golf Club, in Wirral, along with Hoylake Municipal, closed in April 2022 when Wirral Council withdrew its funding for the two courses due to its own financial crisis.

While it was initially stated that the club had permanently closed, organisations including Royal Liverpool Golf Club and Ian Woosnam’s company have expressed interest in reopening it, which led Wirral Council to offer it hope by saying it was moving ahead with proposals for local groups to take it over as part of a community asset transfer scheme.

The course has been managed for free by volunteers at the golf club there while they wait for the council to decide what to do.

However, one issue has been that the venue has been repeatedly attacked by vandals since last April. Some local youth used the fairways as a football pitch and there were reports of fires being deliberately started there, and incidents of fly tipping and vehicles being ridden on the course.

It has now been revealed that this May there were at least two more incidents.

A post on Brackenwood Golf Club’s Facebook page on May 25 said vandals had dug up greens.

“Some people just think criminal damage is ok, that they can dig up golf greens that have been looked after by volunteers.

“This is something we said would happen when the land isn’t being used for golf or anything else. It is totally unacceptable and so serious we will be reporting to the police,” it read.

Keith Marsh, secretary of the golf club, said he was “shocked, frustrated, annoyed but not surprised. We have had incidents of vandalism before.

“We have never had scrambler bikes on the golf course as far as I can remember because it was previously being used as a leisure facility.

“For us it’s the concern that there is an awful lot of work to do and because it’s on the green it will cost so much more. I think for the club as a whole, especially the people who have been volunteering, who have given blood, sweat, and tears to then see that sort of damage is really disheartening.”

Councillors offered it more hope recently by overturning officer recommendations to turn the course into sports pitches. They instead praised the golf club’s plans for the course which included ways to improve biodiversity, and pointed to the large public turnout at a meeting opposed to it closing for good.

Helen Cameron, the chair of the council’s tourism, communities, culture and leisure committee, said: “We often look for proof of concept when discussing ideas as councillors and I really feel the stewardship under the local community as well as the one potential bidder has been exemplary and that is the kind of reassurance that I was looking for.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 30, 2023 10:42
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1 Comment

  1. Clem G June 29, 19:56

    I lived in Birkenhead in the mid 1970’s and enjoyed many a round at Hoylake. It was a good challenge and enjoyed by many keen golfer’s who could not afford Prenton or Caldy.
    Very sad to see what is happening to it.

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