GOLFERS are furious at plans by a leisure provider to kick their club out of its center after 43 years.
Everyone active will not allow Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Club to operate on its Ladgate Lane course from April 1.
Instead, he will set up his own club to operate at Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre.
However, members of Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Club feel it is a disgrace that their club is prevented from operating on the course and they voted overwhelmingly (86%) at the recent AGM to remain on the course. site.
Geoff Moore, 73, who sits on the golf club’s committee, said: ‘Members got very angry [at the AGM] the least we can say is that people were saying, ‘what the hell have they got the right to take away our club from when we’ve had it all this time?’.
He added: “What we have done for 43 years and the help we have given them [Everyone Active] when they arrived they just pulled the rug out from under us and told us they were dissolving it.
“It’s a complete and utter disgrace. I’ve been here this whole time and haven’t slept in weeks and weeks.
Geoff has been golfing at the center since it opened in 1977, a year later the club was established and he joined its committee in 1980 – aside from a few years of stepping back, he has always served on the committee since.
He added: “It’s just shameful, it really is and the club is absolutely outraged.
“People who left the club and went to other clubs for other reasons, they never forget where the grassroots football was.
“To take this away from us members and people who have worked their hearts and souls for all these years and disband us from April 1st is just shocking.”
Alan Chillmaid, 64, who has also been on the committee and played at the center since his teens, fears Everyone Active will hold the site’s contract until 2031.
He said: “The main reason we don’t want it to go the way everyone wants is because our club is dying out.
“If we could sit around a table with them and reach an agreement on the continuation of our club, that would be good.
“As a contract, their contract is only until 2031 and if there is any reason that is not renewed, the club they have created now simply disappears.”
Geoff is also worried about the uncertainty surrounding the end of the contract and said that if the club were allowed to stay they would continue to operate as they always have, even if the leisure provider changed.
Currently, Everyone Active receives money from subscriptions and those who pay as they play, while membership fees, which are £40 per year for new members and £30 thereafter, go to the Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Club.
The club uses it to pay fees at England Golf, Yorkshire Golf and Teesside Union Fees, as well as club administration, IT equipment, honor rolls and trophy presentations.
There are about 600 season ticket holders at the center and about 200 of them are members of the golf club.
Everyone Active, who runs a number of leisure venues including Neptune Center and Rainbow Leisure Centre, said they would set up another committee that club members could join.
However, Geoff and Alan, who have both served as club captains and presidents, said this did not fit the club’s current committee as it removed some key positions including chairman and treasurer.
Alan also spoke of the impact the club has had on golfers over the years.
He said: “When Ray Mallon was mayor he said the golf center was the jewel of the town.
“The golf center was created, I still remember the quote on TV, so that the man in the street could enjoy the benefits and competitions of a private golf club without having to pay the prices of a private golf club and we worked on those lines.
“We’ve had a lot of members who don’t know the club through and through, but have become very good golfers.
“You can ask any club in that area and a good percentage started their golf at the Municipal Golf Club.
“We don’t have the resources of a private golf club, but we hold more than our own.”
In response, Everyone Active said they are confident the change will be good for golf in the region.
Leisure provider contract manager Paul Ayre added: “We have worked with Middlesbrough Council and England Golf to create a strategy to ensure Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Center continues to thrive.
“With this in mind, we began a consultation process with the Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Club Board in August 2021, to discuss how the club would fit into any future strategy and preserve its heritage. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an agreement.
“As a result, the club will no longer be based at the site from April 1 and will be able to explore other options for its future. From that point on, a structure will be in place which will see Everyone Active continue to manage the site and create a new club.
“We are proud to work closely with local clubs across the country to help develop the future of the sport. We are sad that in this case we have not been able to find a solution for the future of Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Club which matches our two ambitions.
“Club committee members are welcome and encouraged to apply for volunteer roles in the new club structure.
“We are confident Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Center will thrive in the future and this change will be for the good of golf in the area.
“Customers will see no change to how the facility works and will still be able to pay by playing or joining the new club as a member. From 1 April the maximum price for a subscription will be £539, which which is by far the cheapest in the area.