Sandilands Golf Club in Lincolnshire has been forced to close with immediate effect after getting into financial difficulties.
The Sutton-on-Sea-based club, which was due to celebrate its 125th anniversary next year, had seen its membership numbers drop to just 180 at the time of the closure, down from a peak of over 300 a decade ago.
Green fee business from a nearby hotel, The Grange, had helped keep the club afloat during the downturn, but the recent closure of that venue meant that losses were no longer sustainable, and the club was placed into immediate liquidation last week by owners Sandliands Leisure Limited.
Matthew Fletcher, the company’s managing director, said: “Next year is the club’s 125th anniversary, but unfortunately we are not in a position to get the club to that milestone. We have raised the conditions of the course, put several people through apprenticeships, and it is sad that the investment has not yielded the right results. The recent closure of The Grange & Links Hotel, and the resulting loss of golf break and green fee income, plus local demographic factors and declining interest, has made the course uneconomic as a business enterprise.”
He added: “The members have been immensely supportive, but we just do not have the number of people required to support our aims of presenting a quality course with a strong greenkeeping and clubhouse team. We have worked tirelessly to grow the membership from just over 100 in 2014 to just over 180 now, however this is a long way short of the halcyon days of 300-plus members that enjoyed the course a decade ago. With annual losses incurred since acquisition, regrettably we haven’t been in a position to invest further in the clubhouse to keep this to a standard expected of today’s golfer.”