Muni's is this the way ahead?

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Post by Doc on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 9:19 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-13746238

Don't know if anyone has seen this, but guess this could be the start of a few muni's changing hands as councils try and make savings.

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Post by LadyPutt on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 10:49 am

Don't see how a golf course and club can be run "on a voluntary basis" so I think this is doomed to fail. How on earth are they going to raise the funds required to pay staff wages and the high cost of course maintenance if it is already making a loss?

All Council leisure facilities had to be put out to tender and run by separate organisations (some Councils formed their own) several years ago and this lead to many of the Municipale golf courses being allowed to deteriorate, especially in terms of their upkeep. Sad that a way of making golf accessible to those not blessed with the sort of spare cash needed to join members' or proprietory clubs (especially if they demand high joining fees) is being gradually eroded.
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Post by Doc on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:07 am

LP I agree and the problem will be along the lines of an earlier post by LJ. Councils will need to look at bang for their buck and if a mini is isn't being used by enough people, the cost per head ratio to the council will become silly. A swimming pool with regular numbers should be cost neutral, compared with a golf course that doesn't take enough money. So local tax payers are subsidising golf in the area. Councils don't know how to run businesses, so should look at ways of catering for the community by trying to either partner or even offload to another company.

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:29 am

Turn them into affordable housing estates - they're generally useless as golf courses and run by people that have no idea how to run a golf course plus they have no incentive to make money because the council will pick up the loss.

Affordable housing would let thousands get on the property ladder, help to house people in key sectors and those families without housing, create thousands of jobs in the construction industry which provides money for those at the bottom upwards and the balance of properties sold vs subsidised against the cost of building would probably net out to give something that lasts for future generations.

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Post by LadyPutt on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:31 am

So where do people go to play who can't afford club membership, SH? And that includes me!
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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:46 am

I think there's a far greater % of people that can't afford somewhere to live and I think that's a touch more important.

As for membership, theres plenty of pay and play courses owned by private companies that offer affordable golf, especially with the various discount schemes available.

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:54 am

And LP, if I remember from previous posts you don't play your golf too far from me which means we have more affordable golf than most.

Birchwood Park - £25 peak, £17.50 off peak and on 2-4-1 in low season.
Pedham Place - £27 peak, £15 off peak and on 2-4-1.
Cray Valley - £27 peak, £15 off peak, £10 twilight.
Ruxley Park - £25 peak, £15 off peak, £10 twilight.
Chelsfield Lakes - £30 peak, £20 off peak, £10 twilight and 2-4-1 off peak.

Even some private clubs like Nizels and Hever offer 2-4-1 making them around £20 per round. And if you play with a member at most courses then the fee becomes cheaper than most pay and plays.

Being a member is a luxury but not being one doesn't stop you from playing golf. There are far better uses of government money at the moment than affordable golf.

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Post by Maverick on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:00 pm

There's one in our area that is in impeccable condition and i would go as far to say better than most members course's and their is run as a partnership with the local council. The council own the course but run by a private company, a percentage of the profit goes to the council, the rest goes back into the course and club house, and they make profit from the gym they have there, very well run place and affordable for all as well as being a top quality course.

Cannot see how a volunteer run place can be in the slighest bit viable, there needs to be a proper business structure and they simply wont have the man hours to run effectively thats before you even consider staffing costs for green staff and funds for equipment etc


Last edited by Maverick on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:01 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 12:09 pm

That's exactly what government bodies should do with most things they run. As liked/disliked as a certain Mrs Thatcher was, she knew what she was doing privatising utilities etc - the government would have lost money buying oil the last few years they are that incompetent.

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Post by Maverick on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:11 pm

sharrison01 wrote:And LP, if I remember from previous posts you don't play your golf too far from me which means we have more affordable golf than most.

Birchwood Park - £25 peak, £17.50 off peak and on 2-4-1 in low season.
Pedham Place - £27 peak, £15 off peak and on 2-4-1.
Cray Valley - £27 peak, £15 off peak, £10 twilight.
Ruxley Park - £25 peak, £15 off peak, £10 twilight.
Chelsfield Lakes - £30 peak, £20 off peak, £10 twilight and 2-4-1 off peak.

Even some private clubs like Nizels and Hever offer 2-4-1 making them around £20 per round. And if you play with a member at most courses then the fee becomes cheaper than most pay and plays.

Being a member is a luxury but not being one doesn't stop you from playing golf. There are far better uses of government money at the moment than affordable golf.

Gotta agree with that really hard for first time buyers and the like to get on the ladder, and it's only going to get harder. As much as I love this game it is a luxury to be able to play it (or not as case is currently anyone have a spare leg i can use needs to be a left one), but fir those that do want to play there are certainly some bargains out there for them too.

One near us thats good value is Deangate Ridge something like 16quid a pop..

SH with those course in your area you can't be too far away from me, when i back in the land of the walking maybe worth a knockabout round a local track

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Post by LadyPutt on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:26 pm

SH - most of the courses you quote were Muni's until the "contracting out" as as I mentioned. Have you played all of them or are you just quoting ones you know?

As for your "pop" about people not having anywhere to live, I don't think that's relevant to the posting.
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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:27 pm

Sounds good. To be honest, the way I'm hitting it you'll be fine on the one leg!

I'm not too far from those courses but tbh from that area there's a lot better within an hours drive so I'm more than happy to travel a bit to find a decent track...

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:36 pm

LP, I've played all of them on many occasions as I don't feel the need to be a member of a private club. I choose to be a nomadic golfer because golf is so affordable now but at no point to I think that I should be entitled to affordable golf. If times are bad, I play the pay and play if they're good then the top end - it's all in my hands.

As for my "pop" about people having no-where to live, I did not realise that it was an irrelevant point after you responded to my point of muni's being of more use as affordable housing. You surely cannot tell me that the government doesn't have a huge problem with finding affordable housing for the next generation and a bulging population?!? In a couple of years we will see the largest population of first time buyers (around 35 years old) that this country has since since the baby boomers that have caused this mess. The gap being created between those that own a home and those that do not is far more pressing than keeping poorly run muni courses open.

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Post by Maverick on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:47 pm

SH i'm more than happy to drive to anywhere in that area some good course around that are good value,

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:54 pm

Good stuff. Let me know when you're back up and playing but maybe not playing too well - give me half a chance and boost your confidence seeing how poor a cat 1 player can hit it!?!?

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Post by Maverick on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 2:28 pm

sharrison01 wrote:Good stuff. Let me know when you're back up and playing but maybe not playing too well - give me half a chance and boost your confidence seeing how poor a cat 1 player can hit it!?!?

I won't be back till end september earliest so i'll be one and a half legged by then and I can show you how rusty a scratch golfer is after a lay off, i think you should give me 3 shots per half Whistle

But back to the point, there are plenty of decent munis available to all for some real bargain twilight prices that make things really affordable that plus some real good courses these days being part of the 2-4-1 means you can play some great venues for half the price

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 2:46 pm

Last time I played Hever it was £15 - a suitable question might be why would you choose to play a muni?!?

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Post by Maverick on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 2:52 pm

Hever, what did you think, I like the place and for 15quid bargain

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Post by sharrison01 on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 2:59 pm

I always really enjoy it down there. It's a nice drive down through the country, they serve a good breakfast, the practise facilities are really good, course is usually pretty empty in the week and the actual course is fairly interesting and in generally good condition. For £15 I'm not sure you could ask for more?!?

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