‘Preferential treatment’ complaint over new members27th January, 2014 by Tania Longmire
Existing members of a Durham golf club that has recruited several golfers from a neighbouring facility that went into liquidation have complained that the new members are getting preferential treatment.
One member at Oakleaf Golf Complex, Paul Roe, has told The Northern Echo that he is unable to play at his usual tee time for the next few months because former members of Woodham Golf and Country Club, which closed last year, have been allowed to block book tee times.
Previously this was not possible as tee times could not be booked more than a week in advance. However, the policy was changed to allow about 40 former members of Woodham to play at Oakleaf.
The owner of the golf course has said allowing the block booking for the next few months was “appropriate” due to the income received.
Mr Roe said he has played with his son at 9.30am on a Wednesday, every week for the last four years, but that slot has now been taken. Other times on that day or other days would be inconvenient or not possible, he said.
“We are being unfairly discriminated against,” he said.
Andrew Bailey, clerk of Great Aycliffe Town Council, which owns the course, said: “We deliberately did not give the booking between 8am and 8.30am to enable other golfers to tee off early morning and obviously again at 10am.
“Whilst I can understand Mr Rowe’s concern that he cannot have the exact tee time that he has been used to, as you will appreciate, from an income point of view and to reduce the subsidy on the golf complex, it was felt that this was the most appropriate action.”
The Northern Echo added that Oakleaf has seen membership rise ‘significantly’ since Woodham closed.