A group of 350 members of Hazlemere Golf Club, near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, have got together and bought the club from the small group of local businessmen and their heirs who built the course in the early 1980’s. After the business and its assets had been independently valued, the agreed price was around £1.2 million and the deal was completed on Friday, 31st March.
No less than 350 members have each put in £3,500 towards the purchase price and in return each has received one share in the new company. Spokesman for the new owners, David Balfour, a past captain of the club, said, “No-one owns more than one share. A key to the success of the venture has been that nobody who wished to purchase shares but who needed to arrange the payment over a period of time has been penalised for that. It was more a case of giving some extra benefits to those who could pay up front. Members found around 70% of the total purchase price in cash and have made arrangements to borrow the remainder over periods of up to ten years.”
The new owners are in the process of recruiting a new club manager but all the other key members of the staff have stayed with the business. There are plans for course improvements, upgrading the catering facilities and enhancing the coaching facilities for juniors and other members.
Peter Napier, the current captain of the club says, “Members are justifiably proud of our achievement in securing the Club. We’re looking forward to building on the good work of the previous owners and fostering equal rights for all members. We will continue to support junior golf – a policy that has led to us having one of the largest junior sections in the country and producing the Walker Cup star, Luke Donald.”