Has Scrooge been appointed to take over the running of Beacon Park Golf Course and the club house from Serco Leisure Services? It might seem so from gossip among golfers who have heard there will be no expenditure on a golf simulator, which is a graphically simulated driving range or golf course, usually in an indoor setting. It is a technical system used by some golfers to continue their sport regardless of weather, and would have been an asset at Beacon Park.
It’s also rumoured that improvement investment of around £60,000 for the course won’t happen. Golfers have found the club house heating is off and Sky Sports has been cancelled as being too expensive.
As readers know, this wonderful old course has been the subject of massive landfill to create a new 9hole course and a “footgolf” facility. Planning permission dates from December 2011 for “Partial remodelling of existing golf course and driving range and creation of new nine hole short course”. Six years of gross mismanagement and private landfill looting on this publicly owned leisure facility and still no use and income for what would be a mere “one third” share for WLBC and its council tax payers.
Readers have seen pictures of the dangerously appalling height of the “footgolf” dream! But now, it’s all secured by steel fencing and padlocked as another rumour spreads that “there is too much crap tipped on the driving range, it’s way too high and it has to be lowered”. But where will it all go? Surely not on the other side of the first fairway, that will mean wagons going across the fairway causing disruption for years? And who will pay? The private landfill contractor Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd filed 2016 accounts showing a mere £783 of shareholders funds and net assets, compared with 2015 £318,589 of shareholders funds and net assets.
Enough speculation, as stoical golf club members see what we can see, the dreadful surface of the new short course with its deepening ankle breaking gullies while somebody is marking out tees and direction of holes. But the future direction of this wonderful old course, once in the top ten UK courses, is uncertain, as it always has been since the secret council files lie buried and hidden from the owners, WLBCs council tax payers.