The Need to Save Cleeve Hill Golf Club
Article by Golfshake Ambassador Andy Picken
I love municipal golf. Many years ago this was my method of entry into this wonderful game. But unfortunately, there now seems to be a shift from councils and local authorities to move away from supporting these type of venues. In our virus affected times this is a very short-sighted view. Most courses also have public access footpaths and the facilities can therefore be enjoyed by all. Outside exercise is so important to all our health and well-being that it needs to be encouraged.
I was upset when I recently saw this video from Cookie Jar Golf, showcasing yet another course at risk. It is a powerful view showing this course and its surroundings in all its glory.
Cleeve Hill Golf Club near Cheltenham is a genuine hidden gem that faces closure in March of next year. Highly Recommended on Golfshake, the course is built on common land in an area of special scientific interest but its clubhouse and car park are leased from the local council. The council have decided to close the lease and let the ground return to nature.
This course was designed originally by Old Tom Morris.
A monumental golfer who won The Open four times and who became the father of golf course architecture worldwide. In 1885 there were only 161 course in Great Britain, by 1900 there were 1,300. He travelled the country by train in this period designing golf courses. His masterpieces being the Old and New Course at his beloved St Andrews. His resume includes: Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Cruden Bay, Lahinch, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Royal North Devon. His original concepts were then adapted by no less than Dr Alister Mackenzie of Augusta National fame. The good doctor was directly influenced by the ideas and concepts applied by Old Tom.
It was designed to encourage entry level players to try and enjoy the game. The fairways are wide and balls are rarely lost. Views from the course are simply spectacular. It is accessible to all golfers of all standards of play. Generations of local golfers have been introduced to the game of golf first using this venerable facility.
The land itself is cultivated by a local farmer and this ground shares part of the cultivation with local livestock similar to venues like Royal North Devon.
Who wouldn't want to play an Old Tom Morris design golf course supported by Dr Alistair MacKenzie for £15 a time? This is the very definition of a hidden gem that should be protected for future generations to enjoy and savour.
Check out and your name to the petition that is generating support for the retention of the course asking the council to look again at this closure decision.
What do you think?
Should Cleeve Hill be saved for the future? Then make your voice heard.
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