Plan for common facilities of clubs canceled after protests

by | Aug 30, 2021 | Golf Clubs

PLANS by a private club in Henley to share its facilities with golfers were abandoned by members after a revolt.

The Phyllis Court Club near Marlow Road had made a “mutual agreement” with Henley Golf Club in Harpsden so that they could both increase their offer to attract new members.

Officials said the partnership was made possible because the clubs “share the same ethos”.

But a week after both clubs issued “clarifications” about the deal after criticizing their members, the plan was canceled.

Stan Ainsley, chairman of the Phyllis Court Club, made a statement Thursday last week.

He said many members had complained to him personally as well as to Chris Hogan, the club’s chairman and secretary, and his councilors.

Mr. Ainsley said, “Although this agreement was mutually beneficial, the overwhelming response from members has been negative.

“Given the strength of these sentiments, the Council unanimously decided to end this relationship with immediate effect.”

Under the terms of the contract, all Phyllis Court Club members with an established golf handicap could play up to six rounds per year at the golf club at a reduced price.

You could also get guests to play the same number of games, but at a slightly higher cost.

Members could also join the beginners golf club’s academy.

It was also planned to offer hotel guests a “Stay and Play” package.

The course manager of the golf club should also advise the Phyllis Court Club on the maintenance of the site, especially the croquet lawn.

In return, around 450 voting members of the golf club should be entitled to “mutual benefits”.

They could visit the Phyllis Court Club up to twice a month and host a guest six times a year.

They were also entitled to reciprocal rates for rooms, room rentals and private events, as well as benefits for the Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Festival.

At certain times, golfers can also use the Phyllis Court Club tennis courts. The agreement did not allow participation in “normal” club events, membership in interest groups, or use of the fitness center, croquet lawn or club boats and berths.

Phyllis Court members were concerned about the impact on the “ambience of the club”.

Before terminating the agreement, the club said, “Henley Golf Club is a private membership club with rules, statutes and a dress code.

“It was founded in 1907, a year after our club, and its members and directors share the same ethos as Phyllis Court.

“As a club, we at Phyllis Court offer far more than most exclusive country clubs in the UK. What we don’t offer is golf, one of the most popular pastimes and especially for the club’s demographic.

“Many members have expressed an interest in golf and potential members often ask what facilities we have.

“A considerable number of our competing clubs offer golf courses. Through our mutual partnership, we will now also add golf to the advantages of membership, gain new members and retain members who are interested in the sport.

“Members of Phyllis Court enjoy the same privileges as community members of Henley Golf Club with no restriction on access to the clubhouse and use of all practice facilities, including the driving range, chipping green and putting green.

“The impact on the general ambience at Phyllis Court is expected to be negligible, but as with all mutual agreements, the benefits are monitored by the membership committee and changes are made as necessary.”

The club, which has mutual clubs in the UK and around the world, said partnering with the golf club would mean Phyllis Court “would benefit from increased revenue and potentially new members.”

James Brockington, General Manager of Henley Golf Club, said: “The Board of Directors sees this mutual agreement between the two clubs as a benefit to all voting members.

“It has the potential to generate revenue for the club while also gaining access to world class riverside facilities.

“The agreement is monitored by the board of directors and changes are made if necessary.”

After the deal was canceled, Mr. Brockington declined to comment.

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