Milford Haven Golf Club's future secured
12:02pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
PROUD: The future of Milford Haven Golf Club is looking good after a successful Welsh Team Championships. (913774)
THE FUTURE of Milford Haven Golf Club has been secured following the successful Welsh Team Championships last week, but it's not ‘out of the woods’ yet, club officials have said.
Last November, the Mercury reported that the golf club was on the brink of closure and was facing debts of £600,000.
But president Chris Davies said that the club had overcome the worst of the situation.
He said: "Some years ago we had to do some major redevelopment to the course to the cost of large sums of money. Unfortunately, that comes at a price, and we had to borrow.
“Being a small club, we had to make a commitment financially - but knowing we would struggle for some period of time.
“Golf has been struggling across the county, so we’re not alone in that. We lost 90 members last year, so we bucked the trend a little bit with that.
“A lot of that came down to the quality of the golf course. Obviously, if the product is not right, you haven’t got a chance.”
He added: “We had to restructure our finances, the way in which our committee and club operates, and we had to tighten the old belt rather a lot.
“We’re not completely out of the woods yet, but for the first time, in a long time, we are seeing very positive moves to establish a sound financial way forward.
"We have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time, and the future of the club is looking very positive.”
Mr Davies said that as well as improving its course, the golf club also hosted its centenary party to a capacity crowd at Beggars Reach Hotel, and raised £3,000 for charity at the golf club. The building itself also undergone major refurbishment.
He said: "There has been a major turnaround in the club generally, and that is due to a lot of effort from within the club. This year, our centenary year, has been particularly successful, with a number of new events and promotions, and things have developed extremely well.”
Mr Davies said that the improved course and new restaurant facilities at the club were proving to be a commercial success.
He added that in the space of about six to nine months, numbers in the junior section had grown from six to 30 people, while the club’s membership had increased by about 45 members since April, bringing numbers up to 250.
He said: "On the basis that we used to make a loss, anything is a gain."
"And following the Welsh Team Championships, we have had a great amount of praise from the Golfing Union of Wales, and both the players and the union were very happy with the quality of our course and friendly atmosphere.
“Our team came second, only losing in the last match by one game. And for a little club like Milford, that is exceptional. I think that Pembrokeshire, and certainly Milford, does not sing its praises enough.”
Club captain John Price added: “We have an extremely good club spirit that exists throughout the whole club, and that keeps morale up as well.
“For me as a captain it’s been quite an easy job to be able to stand up there and make a speech. In the past I had to fend off the financial situation and the condition of the course, and with that out of the way, that job becomes so much easier."
Mr Davies added: “We are achieving perhaps more than expected, and the club is currently not at risk in any form. I would say the future is secure. It’s onwards and upwards now, we have huge optimism about the future.”