Golf course folds as business becomes unsustainable

Mentmore Golf Club
Mentmore Golf Club
  • Mentmore Golf Club has ceased trading
  • The news was announced to members on Sunday night
  • The club said it had become clear that the business model was no longer viable

A golf club which is also used as a wedding venue has ceased trading with immediate effect.

Mentmore Golf and Country Club, between Leighton Buzzard and Aylesbury, announced the decision last night (Sunday).

An e-mail circulated by director Matthew Bees to members reads: “It is with deepest sadness and regret that Mentmore Leisure Golf & Country Club can no longer sustain and run this business, and therefore as of Sunday, June 7, 2015 has ceased trading.

“As a director of this company it is my duty to inform you immediately, as this has become apparent to me in the last 24 hours.

“I have tried my upmost to sustain this club on the clear instruction from the Halabi Family Trust, as it was their wish to keep this club open, after many years of injecting capital and maintaining/supporting the club expenditure.

“It has become clear, however, that the feasibility of the business and the viability of this model no longer works.

Mentmore Golf Club closure notice

Mentmore Golf Club closure notice

“Three years ago the Halabi Family Trust paid and cleared all outstanding debts and restructured the club, as well as injected substantial capital in order for the club to operate similarly under the general manager, Mr Clinton Moore, who has also operated this club for the previous four years following the retirement of the Club Company.

“The golf club industry has suffered immensely in the last few years, since the financial meltdown, and indeed I have learnt that many prominent golf courses in the region have suffered failing revenue.

“The operating costs which this club has suffered, including high rent, rates and utilities, are evidence of the tremendous overheads, despite substantial savings in staff salaries and CAPEX (expenditure which alters the future of the business), which you have noticed has led to some deterioration in the upkeep and maintenance of this club, despite many interventions from the Halabi Family Trust assisting financially to keep the club in business.

“The low cost of membership is not justified with the high overheads of the upkeep of the buildings and maintaining the good quality of the facilities.

“We have done our utmost to provide the best facilities possible, but regretfully could not increase the membership numbers or fees as this would have adversely effected membership numbers.

“Additionally, a large reduction in footfall, revenue and members spend over the last few years has increased the pressure on the business to a position where the model is untenable.”

The club also announced the news on its Twitter feed on Sunday evening writing: “We would like to thank all the staff who have worked so hard during a very tough past few months trying to keep the club going.

“We all tried as hard as we could to make it work, but some things just can’t be saved no matter how hard you try.

“We would also like to thank ALL the members for their continued support throughout the past few months.”

The club added that staff were notified of the news last night, while those who booked the course for weddings or other functions are due to be officially contacted today.