With the closure of a Verulamium Park golf course proposed by St Albans City and District Council, a committee member of the location's Golf Society has spoken of how this will affect the organisation's members.

The local authority have proposed the closure of Abbey View Golf Course, along with a pavilion building at the Abbey View Athletics Track.


'The current financial climate' was cited as a reason for the proposals.

John Smith, a committee member at Abbey View Golf Society, told The Herts Advertiser: "We were a little bit shocked!

"We came away a little bit dispondant about that (after being told of the council's proposal).

"We have written to the members to explain what is going on, and they are all very disappointed about what is happening."

The committee member continued, speaking of the condition of the course in recent times.

John continued: "Over several years, they've let the (Abbey View) course fall into disrepute.

"Ironically, with the change of site management - moving from 1-Life to Everyone Active - Everyone Active have virtually turned the course around it's much improved within the two or three months that the new management company have been looking after the course."

The council's proposal would see members offered the chance to transfer their membership to Batchwood Golf and Sports Centre at the same rate.

Given that the course is more physically demanding, electric powered golf buggies would also be made available.

John expressed doubts over this arrangement: "When you consider the reason for the Society's existance, which is for older golfers who can no longer do an 18-hole course, it flies in the face of what we've been offering to these people for years...

"...I don't think it's going to help (electric powered golf buggies), because at the moment they're not allowing buggies on the course at Batchwood.

"Why would they spend capital on bringing in further buggies, which is what they've promised to do, when they say they haven't got any money?"

Along with the proposed closure of Abbey View Golf Course, the pavilion building at Abbey View Athletics Track may also be closed.

Local running club, St Albans Striders, utilise the track for coaching sessions.

These sessions focus on improving speed and running form.

Bernadette Newby, chair of St Albans Striders, said: "While this is unsettling for our members we have been assured that clubs can continue to use the facility.

"We are confident that we can reach an agreement that gives the club what we need to continue offering a varied and productive training program as well as our regular special events. 

"Our thoughts are with the team that currently run the track and golf course. They have always been very supportive and this must be a difficult time for them."