Historic Yorkshire golf club closes down

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 2, 2023 12:09

A Yorkshire golf club that opened in 1911 has closed down.

Renishaw Park Golf Club, near Sheffield, has reportedly been hit by flooding and falling memberships, and has declined a financial pledge by members to see it through the winter. The venue has instead been put up for sale, and at this stage it is not clear what a potential buyer might want to do with it.

In an email to members, the club said its landlords have described the venue as “no longer sustainable”.

The course, which sits on the Sitwell Estate in Renishaw, was built in 1911 by the British antiquarian writer and politician Sir George Sitwell, the grandfather of broadcaster William Sitwell.

Sheffield Union of Golf Clubs secretary Graham Needham said the closure of the “fantastic” venue was a “sad loss”, adding: “Gutted is the word”.

He said: “Over the years it’s been a fabulous place to visit. Everything about it is old tradition in golf terms.

“We all looked forward to going there. In the days when I started it probably had the best greens in Yorkshire.

“It’s a great part of history, it’s a sad, sad loss. It will be very sadly missed.”

He said the course, which lies next to the River Rother, had been badly affected by regular flooding in recent years, which had led many members to leave.

Those left rallied round and pledged almost £20,000 to try and keep the club open, but their efforts were in vain.

The money “is not sufficient enough to see us through the winter months and present a viable business plan,” the club said in the email.

“With this in mind we are respectfully declining the very kind offers made and will not be using your money to prop up the club for the next couple of months with no future beyond.”

The decision to close was made following independent advice, with the final round of play on December 3, just a couple of days after the email was sent, the club said.

Assets may need to be sold to pay outstanding creditors, it added.

A statement from Renishaw Hall & Gardens, which runs the Sitwell Estate where the club is located, said: “The club has been struggling in recent years due to a decline in memberships, together with course issues caused by the increased frequency of flooding, and its operation is no longer sustainable.

“We are working closely with the club on a managed handover and the estate is relieving the club and the trustees of their liabilities.”

Renishaw Park Golf Club. Image from X

A spokesperson for Fisher German, responsible for marketing the course, said there had been an expression of interest from a prospective new owner.

However, they were unable to provide a timescale on when it could reopen.

Andy Smith, club secretary, praised the “fantastic response” but admitted: “We would have needed quite a lot more than £20,000.

“Even if we did survive we would be spending thousands and thousands of pounds just on the one fairway.”

The course is located on a flood plain and had suffered badly in recent wet conditions, added Smith, one of 11 staff members at the club whose jobs had been lost.

A member of the club since 1992, he said: “It’s been a difficult day showing people around and listening to the stories they have got was warming. It’s a pity we can’t push it further. “I know there has been enquiries and we have passed them to the landlord.

“They are talking to each other and we are hoping they can come up with a result that can move it forward.”



Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 2, 2023 12:09
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  1. Dogs knob December 22, 09:02

    Does it matter now. Ffs

    Reply to this comment
  2. Yorkshire Yohann December 6, 11:47

    Renishaw is but this club is based in Sheffield and was part of the Yorkshire Union. It’s probably right next to the Derbyshire border

    Reply to this comment
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