Batchworth Park Golf Club excludes members for a week
A week later, members of a golf club are still being refused entry after a contract dispute.
In fact, Batchworth Park Golf Club member Jason Clarke estimates around 400 people are still locked out.
People were shocked last week (April 1) when they first found they could no longer enter the Rickmansworth site as staff told everyone they would not be allowed in to enter unless signing new membership contacts.
But many have refused to sign the new contracts due to new terms stating that operator Crown Golf has full control of the lease and members can be evicted if it is in their own interest.
People at the club believe Crown Golf wants full control of the leases in an attempt to push for housing, as the course is currently listed as a potential site for the development of 618 homes.
“As of today, they still have security at the door and only let in members who have signed the terms and conditions, which are usually just new members,” Clarke said.
Staff turn people away from the site if they haven’t agreed to the new terms
He says the members own a 99-year lease with 74 years remaining, and there is a general refusal to give Crown Golf full control.
Mr Clarke continued: “Their behavior is not one of wanting to work with the members, to sit down and chat. They are looking for all possible tactics to disrupt members.
Geoff Emmett, who has been a member since 2011, said he felt “pretty much right away” but now feels the camaraderie has been “destroyed”.
Mr Emmett, who believes Crown Golf is trying to force people to hand over rental control, said: ‘It’s almost a war of attrition – trying to wear us down so that we give up.’
On Friday (April 8), remaining members were informed that a new business model was being considered to introduce a 27-hole “pay and play” course using 18 old Batchworth holes and nine old 9s from Herts.
According to the club secretary in a memo obtained by the Observer, this is necessary after a backdated review showed the club owe more than £2.5million in rent since it opened in 1997, which must be ‘satisfied’. immediately”.
In response, Mr Emmett said: “It angers me. It’s a ‘members’ club and that’s what I signed up for, not a company club. Maybe the club attitude will change, it will become less personal and less important.