Fears for future of golf course

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Sandilands golfers have revealed their turmoil as their beloved club faces an uncertain future.

This follows the announcement of the club’s closure last year by its owner, Sandilands Leisure Limited, before going into liquidation, which has left members concerned about the future of the course.

Directors of Sandilands Leisure Limited recently expressed their ‘sadness and regret’ about the closure in December 2018.

They cited the recent closure of another of its assets, The Grange and Links Hotel, as well as “declining interest and price pressures faced by most golf clubs” as catalysts.

Meanwhile, members claim that the site is in a ‘state of disrepair’, leaving the course ‘totally unplayable’.

They also say that, due to the fact there is currently no public liability insurance policy in place, they’re unable to maintain the course themselves. Another consequence is that, although they have access to the course, members are not covered to play.

Furthermore, members claim that the electronic system that manages their handicaps is no longer accessible or active, meaning their handicaps cannot be updated – thus barring them from playing qualifying tournaments.

However, the Leader understands that the club no longer has ownership or responsibility over the land.

The club’s members fear that the decline of the course will mean that, instead of being managed and run as a golf club by new owners, it will be sold off as farmland - meaning that Sandilands would lose the golf course altogether.

One member, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “If it’s going to be sold as a golf course, it needs to be in a good state of repair – otherwise, it’s only good for farmland.

“As members, we’ve paid our dues to the owners, only now we can’t play any golf.

“It’s a shame, as many members are pensioners and for them, golf is their exercise and social life.

“We’ve suggested leasing the land ourselves, but the Sandilands Leisure Limited are unable to do this.

“To lose it completely would be a heavy blow.”

The Leader understands that the company is in the process of liquidating its assets, with Adrian Allen and Patrick Ellward of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP appointed as Joint Liquidators on December 21 2018.

After members’ issues were raised with RSM, a spokesman said: “As the company in liquidation (Sandilands Leisure Limited) has no ownership or responsibility over the land or the club, we are unable to comment.”