Thetford Golf Club members agree to buy the club
- Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers
Thetford Golf Club members have agreed to buy the club from the Crown Estate.
It has been quite a turnaround from five years ago when the Norfolk club had great difficulty paying the rent.
An agreement to revise the terms of the lease accompanied by a cost-cutting exercise overcame the problems of 2012. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength.
Membership is back up to near maximum levels, income from visitors is up and all reports suggest the course is in great condition.
Now the club’s committee is considering various options to finance the purchase, including the possibility of offering debentures to members or straightforward loans or mortgages.
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Club manager Malcolm Grubb said: “It is going to be an exciting year. We have built up funds over the past couple of years which means we can make a down payment. Then it will be a matter of making repayments on borrowing rather than paying rent.
Some members have already offered to support the venture and treasurer Chris White is drawing up a debenture offer which has already attracted interest.”
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Club members gave overwhelming support for the move at a meeting last week. There are hopes the purchase could be concluded by April.
The club has launched a first-year reduced subscription scheme which has boosted applications from new members. The innovative points-based Breckland membership scheme remains popular.
House manager Phil Beer has drawn up a varied programme of social events and the club is available to hire for breakfast meetings, lunches or evening events, including weddings, barbecues and private parties.
Teaching professional Stuart Smith and his team are providing tuition and tune-ups for beginners and experienced players with the addition of an indoor swing studio. Custom-fit and gapping sessions are also available.
The Thetford course has long been regarded as one of East Anglia’s finest, combining heathland challenges of gorse and heather with tree-lined fairways.
The sandy soils are free-draining and allow play within minutes of even the heaviest downpour.
Off the white tees the course is 6,849 yards long, and the yellow tees still provide a challenge of 6,672 yards.