Historic UK Golf Club Faces Closure in 125th Year

Canwick Park GC in Lincoln, England, about 150 miles north of London, is “staring closure in the face” because of declining membership and a heavy rent obligation, club directors said. “The national decline in younger people going to golf clubs is something that is well-documented and we have been up against it for the past decade,” reported the club’s financial advisor.

The writing appears to be on the wall for the historic Canwick Park Golf Club in Lincoln, England (about 150 miles north of London) as it continues to struggle to remain financially afloat, Lincolnshire Live reported.

Directors at the 125-year-old Canwick Park Golf Club said they are “staring closure in the face” because a decline in membership is hitting them hard, Lincolnshire Live reported.

The club currently pays la  ndowners £25,000 a year (about $32,450 U.S.) to rent the land, and club officials now say they are struggling to break even and are now running at a loss, Lincolnshire Live reported.

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Discussions have taken place with the club’s landlords to reduce the rent, but Canwick Park’s financial advisor, Joe Hague, has said that the assistance may not be enough to save it, Lincolnshire Live reported.

“The national decline in younger people going to golf clubs is something that is well-documented and we have been up against it for the past decade,” Hague said.

“Young people nowadays are so busy that they do not have the opportunity to play golf as much as what they used to,” he added. “With sports such as [soccer], you can be finished with a game in less than an hour—but with golf, however, you can be spending full days getting round an 18-hole course.

“Also, the affordability for a lot of people is something that is becoming more and more difficult,” Hague added.

Steve Penlington, Canwick Park Golf Club men’s captain, stated that the news is a devastating blow for what he has described a “community hub” for many elderly members, Lincolnshire Live reported.

“The older members are extremely upset by this news, because they rely so much on using the club house to meet with friends,” Penlington said. “We have many members at the club in their 70s, and even have one who is 91 who uses the club for that aspect alone.

“The club has been running for 125 years due to the community spirit of the members; they make it what it is today,” Penlington added. “If the club does close, more of our older members will be less inclined to find clubs elsewhere, leaving them with nothing.

“I would also hate to be the last captain that saw the club being closed forever,” Penlington said. “It will be a huge loss for Lincoln.”

The golf club, established in 1893, gives golfers superb views of city landmarks while playing the course, Lincolnshire Live reported. This adds to the unique experience at Canwick Park, said Sue Brown, a former captain of the club’s woman’s team.

“We have visiting teams who come to the course and they always comment on the stunning view that they get of Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral,” said Brown. “Not only that, but I have played at many clubs before but this one is the friendliest one I have been too—and I think that is down to the fact that it has always been a club for workers.

“Not only will be it be a shame for members, but it will be a loss for the city,” Brown said of the club’s impending closure.