Littlehampton Golf Club captain says ‘we’re here to stay’ after financial woes

“We’re here to stay.” That is the message from the captain of Littlehampton Golf Club, which was on the brink of folding after money troubles earlier this year.

In a letter sent to members in March and seen by the Gazette, it said the club was ‘insolvent, and consequently is at risk of being wound up’ after incurring losses for the last 12 years totalling £325,000.

Steve Robinson, club captain, and Stuart McConachie, general manager of Littlehampton Golf Club

Steve Robinson, club captain, and Stuart McConachie, general manager of Littlehampton Golf Club

But now, Steve Robinson said the club in Rope Walk was turning around its fortunes by appointing a new board of volunteers with ‘fresh faces and fresh views’, including a fully-qualified accountant as finance director, and devising a more ‘conservative budget’.

He said: “The simple fact of life was we spent too much money, which many golf clubs out there have done.

“We are putting three and five year stage plans together and we are looking at every aspect of the club to ensure we remain one of the prestige clubs in the area.”

Work to improve the course over the last four years – and the current remodelling of the practice grounds – has paid dividends, with income increasing from that point, according to the 69-year-old from East Preston.

His vision was to turn the practice grounds into facilities for women and children to use.

Since October 3, lorries have been transporting earth for the project. At its peak, Mr Robinson expected 40 lorries a day to bring materials to the course. Planning permission for this has been granted until March 31.

Rope Walk residents and councillor Ian Buckland had expressed concern about the impact this will have. To them, Mr Robinson said the club would ‘do their best to make sure it is no worse than it should be’, praising Matthews the developers for their neat work so far. He asked residents to direct any complaints to Matthews.

On Tuesday, an extraordinary general meeting for members was due to be held to amend the club’s constitution and its governance.