Thetford Golf Club members buy their own course
- Credit: Thetford Golf Club
Golfers are celebrating after they bought their much-loved Norfolk club.
The 6,849 yard, par 72 course in Brandon Road, Thetford has long been owned by the Crown Estate and managed by a group of trustees.
That meant some 'difficult times' for the club with high rent to pay, leaving less money for future improvements.
But after a sales process which took many rounds, contracts for the sale of Thetford Golf Club to members have now been exchanged.
The club will still have repayments to make over the next decade but club manager Malcolm Grubb said: 'Removing the burden of a high rent means we can concentrate on the repayments, while also reinvesting in the club and the course.
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'It has taken a lot longer than expected but I am delighted that it has now gone through.
'We have been able to finance the purchase thanks to our own members taking out debentures.
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'It may take another 10 years or so to complete the repayments but after that we will have no debts to pay.
'We have had quite an influx of new members lately, including a lot of Colt and Intermediate members, and they are likely to benefit more than anybody as they will eventually inherit one of the finest golf courses in East Anglia.'
The last act of trustees Keith Eldred, Lawrie Izzard and Richard Goodenough was to sign off the lease to complete the sales transaction.
As the club now intends to become Thetford Golf Club Ltd, there is no need for trustees in the future.
'On behalf of the club, I would like to thank the three trustees for their work over many years,' Mr Grubb said.
'Senior trustee Keith has been involved with the club for more than 50 years.'
Celebrations of the purchase have been put on hold until next year, when Thetford will host a Festival of Golf from June 16 to 24, which will involve a series of events on and off the course for members and visitors alike.
A sub-committee has been formed to organise the week and full details will follow later in the year.
As a result of the change in ownership, members will be required to sign up as members of Thetford Gold Club Ltd. Arrangements for this will be announced soon.
Anne McHarg, the club's president, said: 'We had some difficult times a few years ago so thank goodness for the recent improvements which will secure a fantastic facility for the town of Thetford and the East Anglian region.
'I am delighted that the future is bright for Thetford Golf Club.'