Canwick Park Golf Club was established in 1893 and this year is celebrating its 125th Anniversary, which may be its last.
It is an 18 hole parkland course, designed by Hawtree & Sons of Croydon, in the city of Lincoln, with commanding views over the cathedral and the city and is a beautiful park land challenging course.
It was set up as a member golf club for ‘workers’ and membership was originally made up of local foundry workers. It still remains primarily this today, with many members from foundries such as Siemens.
Our problems and what has gone wrong….
Canwick Park Golf Club has struggled financially over the past few years and this led to a number of problems. The biggest has been the land owners, the main one being Jesus College, Oxford. They were given the land by the local Sibthorpe family, the land is to be used by the people of Lincoln for recreational or grazing purposes. The rental costs to the club have increased and are now not sustainable in view of our declining membership. We have tried to discuss our situation with Jesus College and their land agents, but this has not been successful as they have declined to help us in any way.
As we are a members club and everyone on the committee are volunteers, at times those committee members may not have had the correct business knowledge to run a golf club as a business, even though their hearts were in the right place!
Declining, aging membership and loss of a juniors section hasn’t helped
What we have in place…..
We have CASC status and offer community membership deals to players on benefits or very low income or benefits. We have clubs, bags & trolleys available for those who can’t afford to buy their own.
We also offer special deals to the nearby RAF stations as RAF personnel are not always posted for a full year, thus making membership elsewhere difficult.
We host Junior and Adult County Competitions. We have a clubhouse in which we hold functions.
Last night (31/10) a packed, standing room only EGM was held at Canwick Park GC in Lincoln. This EGM was called to decide the fate of this 125 year old club.
The Committee laid out our financial situation, which showed how far we are in the red. I watched as male & female members, some with 40+ years under their belts, made impassioned speeches with tears in their eyes……..
One member – If you cut me you would find half of me belonged to Canwick Park. Another asked – Why are we paying Jesus College, Oxford, the landowner so much money in ground rent, when the land was given to the people of Lincoln, should they not be paying us for the upkeep of the land!
Do the landowners have ulterior motives and want the club to go to the wall, as the club is situated within the City of Lincoln, and on prime building land!!
People bared their souls but a motion was put forward to place the club into voluntary liquidation, which was passed as we couldn’t keep trading in our current financial situation.
The club’s future will now be in the hands of the liquidators, we will inform the bank and landowners of our decision today, November 1st. The likelihood is people will lose their jobs, the Steward his home and job and the members their course.
There will be house builders, speculators, maybe the landowners rubbing their hands together, thinking how much money they could make. But what I witnessed last night was a bit of the local community wilting and dying, and once this beautiful historic course has gone you will never see the like of it again.
If you can help the club at all, offer any support – please contact club manager Kevin Leigh 01522 542912