‘We are so sad to think people could do this’

By Alistair November 15, 2020 07:43 Updated

A historic golf club that has said it will close down next year has had vandals tear up its course.

The 125-year-old Cleeve Hill Golf Club in Gloucestershire announced this autumn that it would permanently close at the end of this winter, after an independent review concluded golf on the site was not financially sustainable without significant investment, although it emerged just days before the attack that the venue could be saved.

The venue discovered that vandals in a car drove over the course, damaging the surface (pictured – image from Facebook).

Tyre tracks were found across the venue, including on the 10th green, as if the driver had performed ‘doughnut’ manoeuvers.

General manager Joe Vaughan said this is a further blow to the club.

He added that the damage will cost thousands of pounds to repair.

“Our issue is going to be, as what’s widely known, as a business we’re closing up on March 31, 2021,” he said.

“There’s not a lot invested after the year that we’ve had – and even if we had unlimited resources, we’re going into the winter where you’re not going to get the growth in the grass.

“If you’re able to put soil, top-dressing and seed down, it would take an enormous amount of time to grow back anyway.

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time to be honest, so frustrating.”

It is thought the damage will cost between £3,000 and £5,000 to repair.

A spokesman added: “This is now going to take weeks / months to repair, costing money and will be unplayable. We are all so sad and angry to think people could do this. We hope it won’t take long to repair, but please bear with us.”

This comes just days after various parties came forward to express an interest in taking over the site – potentially keeping golf going there.

Councillor Robert Vines said: “We were so disappointed to be faced with closing Cleeve Hill Golf Club and so to have received interest is nothing short of fantastic.”

Cleeve Common Trust chairman Phil Robson said: “The trustees are really pleased the future for golf on this iconic course looks more promising.”

By Alistair November 15, 2020 07:43 Updated

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