Golf Gaffe

golf gaffe

We’ve long held that the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is not so much a golf course as a Trojan horse to a housing development on the Green Belt…and we’re not the only ones who think so. A message we received this week rightly questions the Wirral Council ruling administration’s boundless passion for a sport in decline and the gaffe they’ve made in a report which highlights this fact. But then we need to remember that golf is an enthusiasm pursued by some influential people within the Council and the local business community (we’ll let you join the dots) and which inspired this lament about a senior officer who has been “spending months organising a Wallasey golf day for managers to use up their flexi to play with contractor sponsors who generously donate to your day and prizes …”

Hi Wirralleaks,

Why are the Council proposing to spend £millions of public money on building a new Golf Resort (and luxury housing estate) on Green Belt Land in Hoylake when they are proposing to “offoad” municipal courses because golf is in decline??? You couldn’t make this stuff up!

Wirral Council are reviewing their future provision of Municipal Golf Courses.

In a Golf courses Cabinet report to be presented to Cabinet next Monday, Councillor Phillip Brightmore, (cabinet Member of Leisure and Recreation) is recommending the transfer of Arrowe Park and The Warren Municipal Golf Courses to an “alternative specialist golf provider”.

Interestingly the report states “…….with the national trend in golf usage being generally down, (not just for municipal golf courses but also for the majority of private golf clubs)” and “Participation in municipal golf in Wirral is in decline and follows a national trend in that people tend to have less disposable leisure time to spend on playing a five or six hour round of golf. Those people that would have traditionally played golf in the past have migrated to a more ‘time determined’ sport (such as cycling, running,fitness) to fulfil their leisure time demands. Some smaller private member golf clubs are suffering from the same problem and it is noticeable how some ‘community’ based golf clubs have responded to this problem by reducing membership/joining fees and offering ‘pay and play’ packages which compete favourably with our existing municipal fees and charges”.

So, at a time when even the Council acknowledge that golf courses are becoming less and less financially viable – is it really the right decision to invest £millions of public money in a new Golf resort in Hoylake – or will the resort, as many believe, become just a white elephant, ripe for further housing development once the new access road and luxury housing estate has been built?

Best wishes!