Golf clubs' anger over plans to build new course in Bury Farm, Edgware

Andrew Hoffbrand at Bury Farm

Andrew Hoffbrand at Bury Farm

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Golf clubs which have fallen on tough times fear plans to build a new course in the area could kill their business.

The 800-year-old Bury Farm, in Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware, could be closed and turned into an exclusive golf club if plans are approved.

But there are already 21 clubs within a five-mile radius of the new development, which opponents claim would be built on a “treasured” patch of greenbelt land.

Stanmore residents David and Linda Cherry surveyed the 15 largest clubs in a five-mile radius - revealing all are short of members and fear the extra competition could force them to close.

Mr Cherry said: “To build yet another seems completely nonsense - especially when it is proposed to construct it on green belt land, cherished and used by local people.

“All the clubs we contacted were aghast at the thought of yet another golf club in the area.”

More than 1,600 people have signed a petition launched by the Broadfields Estate Residents Association to save the farm, which is known as the “jewel in Edgware’s crown”.

It has also been backed by GLA for Barnet Andrew Dismore and MP Matthew Offord.

The study found Radlett Park Golf Club has 350 members but space for an extra 250, and Aldenham Golf Club has vacancies for an extra 200.

Nearby Hendon Golf Club has 450 members but chairman Andrew Hoffbrand said it could “easily” take on an extra 50.

He said: “We’ve fallen on severe times and golf clubs in the area are seeing their membership diminish. It’s happening, there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

“But what we don’t need in any shape or form is a new golf course. It would ruin everything. It would soak up any other potential members.

“It wouldn’t be a good thing at all.”

Aldenham Golf Club proprietor Jacqueline Phillips said: “The last thing the area needs is a golf course at a time where others are looking for members.

“It’s a concern - the recession has hit golf courses hard and people haven’t got much money to spend, so leisure is the first thing they cut.

“If this were to go ahead, it would give us all a smaller slice of the cake.”

The land, owned by All Souls College, Oxford, will be leased to Tony Menai-Davis, who owns The Shire Golf Club in Barnet.

He said he feels those opposed to the plans have “misrepresented” the facts.

He said: “The golf industry has changed, and what is in the area at the moment is traditional member clubs built 100 years ago.

“People want to play on top quality courses, which we can offer here.

“The Shire Golf Club is a proven success and we are at full capacity - but we can’t expand anymore, so this is ideal.

“We’ll be attracting a different clientele. Business here is fantastic and I know this is a well-wanted, well-needed course.”

Comments (4)

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5:38pm Thu 14 Nov 13

dawboy says...

Its about time the council did something in the interests of the Barnet public rather than the councils coffers. They just seem the electorate in complete contempt unless an election is on the horizon.
Its about time the council did something in the interests of the Barnet public rather than the councils coffers. They just seem the electorate in complete contempt unless an election is on the horizon. dawboy
  • Score: 3

10:24am Sun 17 Nov 13

Fore Left says...

I think the reason many golf clubs are finding it hard to get new members is due to the astronomical prices to join. The new golfer also doesn`t want to play the same course , day in , day out and to pay a high premium for that privilege. Existing clubs need to look harder how to attract the new and younger golfer , how they price fees and how payments can be made (i.e paying by the month). The older club with the older members are the ones who are starting to struggle , the newer courses with added facilities and modern payment ways are doing ok. The older clubs could do a lot to market themselves to players who don`t want to join a club. Cheaper green fees , voucher schemes , 2for1 and other offers . There are many ways for clubs to make money but to complain about having a smaller slice of the cake just sounds naive. Competition can only be good for the golfer and in the end it will be good for the clubs too.
I think the reason many golf clubs are finding it hard to get new members is due to the astronomical prices to join. The new golfer also doesn`t want to play the same course , day in , day out and to pay a high premium for that privilege. Existing clubs need to look harder how to attract the new and younger golfer , how they price fees and how payments can be made (i.e paying by the month). The older club with the older members are the ones who are starting to struggle , the newer courses with added facilities and modern payment ways are doing ok. The older clubs could do a lot to market themselves to players who don`t want to join a club. Cheaper green fees , voucher schemes , 2for1 and other offers . There are many ways for clubs to make money but to complain about having a smaller slice of the cake just sounds naive. Competition can only be good for the golfer and in the end it will be good for the clubs too. Fore Left
  • Score: 1

11:06am Mon 18 Nov 13

Rahosi says...

If the Shire "are at full capacity", why does their website say

Limited availability on membership. To receive full details of our Full Membership package, please contact....

If you would like a quote on a tee time package then please contact....

To receive full details of our Academy Membership package, please contact....

To receive full details of our Junior Membership package, please contact ....

To receive full details of our Executive Gym Membership package, please contact....

What was that about misrepresentation?
If the Shire "are at full capacity", why does their website say Limited availability on membership. To receive full details of our Full Membership package, please contact.... If you would like a quote on a tee time package then please contact.... To receive full details of our Academy Membership package, please contact.... To receive full details of our Junior Membership package, please contact .... To receive full details of our Executive Gym Membership package, please contact.... What was that about misrepresentation? Rahosi
  • Score: 0

7:18am Mon 25 Nov 13

gingis says...

Someone did not like the truth and removed my comments regarding what this golf course is really all about.
Would someone at Hendon Times care to explain?
Someone did not like the truth and removed my comments regarding what this golf course is really all about. Would someone at Hendon Times care to explain? gingis
  • Score: 0

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