Wrangaton Golf Club up for sale

Wrangaton, one of Devon's oldest golf clubs, is up for sale after entering liquidation in January

Wrangaton Golf Club in Devon is up for sale for around half a million pounds

One of Devon’s oldest golf clubs - Wrangaton, where nine holes play over Dartmoor National Park - is to be put up for sale after entering liquidation

Wrangaton Golf Club, one of Devon’s oldest dating back to 1895 and originally known as South Devon Golf Club until 1922, went into liquidation in January despite the club’s best efforts to avoid such an outcome. Formerly an unincorporated members’ club, Wrangaton was incorporated in 2013, after struggling to find members who were able to act as trustees.

Stuart Newberry, representing the club, highlighted the main reason for the situation in the local press in mid-January: “It’s got really difficult with the decline in golf memberships over a number of years, and the club couldn’t keep up with its outgoings.” Despite the club’s best efforts and optimism that liquidation could be avoided, a meeting of the club’s creditors on January 29 resulted in Ian Walker, partner at Begbies Traynor insolvency experts in Exeter, being appointed liquidator.

On a positive note, Mr Walker said: “We’re pleased to say that several interested parties have already come forward and I am confident that a buyer as a going concern will be found. There is competition from other clubs in the area, but I am confident that with the right business plan, this site has the potential to be very successful, with a very supportive membership.”

Agents, ES Group, anticipate that the club will go on the market for around £500,000, with Philip Gibson, a partner at ES Group describing Wrangaton as “an attractive, historic golf course which offers players the chance to play a varied round of golf across open moorland and more traditional parkland. Set within stunning surroundings, Wrangaton offers prospective purchasers the opportunity to acquire a well-known facility just off the main A38 road between Plymouth and Exeter.”

These remain tough times for many golf clubs, plagued by poor weather, other major sporting events competing for leisure time, and a growing move away from traditional club memberships. It is becoming increasingly clear that not all will be able to weather the storm.

Indeed, Begbies Traynor has assisted in the sale or rescue of several other golf clubs and golf centres in recent years including Craibstone in Aberdeen, sold to a local businessman in 2011, Ballumbie Golf Course near Dundee, sold to a property investment company also in 2011, and Harleyford in Buckinghamshire, sold out of administration last year.

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...