A Harry Colt designed golf course in Derbyshire that closed late last year is reopening due to Ian Woosnam’s interest in the venue.
That comes right after a The Sussex Municipal Golf Club was saved, and less than two months after a The Scottish urban venue also closed last year but is now set to reopen. If the Derbyshire venue reopened it wouldn’t be the first in the county due to the pandemic as the Pewit Golf Course stayed closed for all of 2020, however Reopened June this year.
Now, Activists for the Allestree Park Golf Course say former world number one Ian Woosnam has expressed an interest in having an academy set up on site and this would save Derby City Council £ 32,000 a year in maintenance costs.
The golf course was closed in late 2020 by Derby City Council, who said a proposal to open the course for expressions of interest did not produce credible bidders, including a late 2020 bid, also “considered to be non-viable”.
Ian Woosnam said: “I am very excited to be reviving this wonderful golf course designed by one of the greatest designers of all time [Harry Colt]to offer affordable quality golf to the residents of Derby and beyond. “
Co-worker Tony Minshall, Managing Director of RM Estates and former European Tour player, said: “Our company policy is to make each of our courses a course for everyone.
“Ian actively wants young people to take up the game and try to emulate what he has achieved.”
Some councilors have said they believe the council is making the wrong decision.
Ruth Skelton said, “I am not happy with the prospect of losing Allestree Golf Course forever. The real value of the course has not been respected by some. In my opinion, this decision has proven to be a strategic misjudgment.
“Since the Save Allestree Golf Course campaign group published articles in the golf media, there has been serious interest from organizations that want to run the golf course.
“It is incredible that there are four organizations willing to bid, but the council just isn’t interested.”
Alderman Alan Graves added, “The golf course could be an absolutely brilliant facility if someone comes in and invests.”
At a recent council meeting, a motion was tabled asking the council to request Marketing Derby to identify suitable organizations interested in running the golf course – This means that the future of the venue will be discussed again at a future cabinet meeting of the council.
However, a city council in favor of closing the golf course said that “hundreds more people” have enjoyed the park since the golf course was closed and instead supported an “biodiversity climate change agenda”.
Another councilor, Jerry Pearce, said the Ian Woosnam Golf Academy had not presented a “business case” to the cabinet.
He said, “When people are referring to a business case, I would expect to go through PowerPoint presentations and a huge amount of paperwork – I was sent a 252 word email that had two or three things they didn’t actually type had to. This is not a business case. “
Andy Picken, Campaign Leader Save Allestree Golf Course, said, “Ian Woosnam is a global golf superstar ready to make Derby the first city in the Midlands to offer free golf to everyone under the age of 18.
“Having one of its golf academies in Derby would have a positive impact on tourism as golfers from far and wide come to play this beautiful historic course.”
He added that more than 27,500 people signed a pandemic e-petition against closing the course, but claims it has been ignored by the city council.
The course was first opened in 1930 and was home to the Derbyshire Golf Club. It was closed during the war and reopened as Allestree Park Golf Club in 1948.