On Friday, 19th January, a large number of the Farrington Park Seniors met at the Farrington Gurney Village Hall to discuss the future of their section.

The meeting came following an announcement from 360 Maple Ltd, the new owners of Farrington Park Golf Club who took over in March 2023. In the announcement, which happened on Wednesday 17th, 360 Maple Ltd let their members know that from the end of March, Farrington Park would be adopting a 12 hole golf course. This means that the 18 hole Duchy course as it exists now would be closed and used to create the new 12 hole. The 9 hole Manor course will remain as is.

Farrington Park Seniors organised the meeting to air their thoughts about the changes and discuss their options going forward. Unanimously, the section felt that they were being treated unfairly by 360 Maple Ltd, who had offered members use of the new course plus a few extra months without fee. Membership renewal takes place in July, and golfers were disgruntled that they are being offered a different course to the one they signed up for at the beginning of their annual membership. Despite this, 360 Maple Ltd said it would not be issuing any refunds for the three months where the new 12 hole course would be in use.

The Seniors discussed what would happen with their section as the members agreed that they no longer wanted to belong to a club that didn’t offer an 18 hole course. After expressing their dissatisfaction with 360 Maple Ltd and the way that things were heading, the Seniors decided that the section would continue with business as usual until the 1st of April. Many of the members admitted that they had been accepted as members of other clubs, and others were in the process of finding a new club to play at.

The Senior’s AGM, which is due to be held on February 12th, will be cancelled. The section agreed that there would be little point in appointing new members to the committee and instead a special general meeting would be held regarding the possible dissolution of Farrington Park Seniors Section.

Speaking on behalf of the club following the meeting, Mike Hedges, secretary of Farrington Park Seniors Section, said: “I think, not surprisingly, the atmosphere you could cut with a knife here today because many people have been members for years, including myself - 30 years. It’s a big investment of time, money and effort that the members have put in to make it the successful club that it is.

“There’s now going to be a significant change, and nobody likes change, but we think the scale of the change has shocked us all. It’s actually put over seven hundred golfers into circulation looking for another home, which is so sad. We didn’t get the communication we expected, we were never really consulted other than a last-minute questionnaire which didn’t seem to have any impact on their decisions at all.

“It has been a sad day here at the Section, but we are determined that we are going to stay together as a group and that we won’t lose the very important social contacts we’ve developed over the years of playing at the club”.