Bath golfers are campaigning to save two loss-making golf courses after Bath and North East Somerset Council revealed that each round played costs taxpayers £8. One golfer complained that a consultation on the future of the Entry Hill site was taken over by a ‘cycling lobby on steroids' after 78 per cent of respondents expressed support for turning it into a cycling centre.
Somerset Live reports that the consultation, run at the start of the year, revealed huge support for transforming Entry Hill into a family cycle centre and mountain bike park.
60 per cent of respondents also expressed support for an alternative plan where the site would become a park with a cafe.
Only 19 per cent of responses said the golf course should be retained and run under a different management model.
Entry Hill has had a continued decline in visitors for more than a decade and now operates at a loss to the council of around £80,000 per year.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, commented: “As noted in a survey by Sport England, usage of golf courses has sadly been in decline nationally for many years and that is certainly something we’ve seen at both our golfing sites.
“We acknowledge that the idea of changing Entry Hill to a different use is opposed by residents who still enjoy playing golf there, but that the consultation results also show strong opinions from thousands of members of the community who wish to use it differently.”
Golfer Elizabeth Hallam complained that the consultation had been weighted against the sport and targeted by a “cycling lobby on steroids”.
Hallam claims there are hundreds of “latent golfers” in the city if the Entry Hill and Approach courses could find a new operator.
Crossley said there had been lobbying from golfers as well as cyclists and that a decision had no yet been made.
“It is not right that public money has continued to support the current model of operation at these two sites. I assure everyone that as we go through this process there is not a predetermined outcome."
Crossley said the 18-hole course at another site, Approach, would remain but that the 12-hole course there could instead be used for “golf-derived sports” like frisbee golf or foot golf.
In October, we reported how Leeds City Council were planning to close Temple Newsam Golf Club and replace it with a cycling centre.
That course had been costing the taxpayer £200,000 a year.
The council has since decided to merely reduce the size of the club from 27 to 18 holes.
Final proposals are expected to go before the council’s decision-making executive committee later this year.