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Rhyl Golf Club will temporarily close three months earlier than planned, on 31 December this year. The nine-hole course had been expected to shut for 12 months from spring 2023. However, a sea wall is required on the boundaries of Prestatyn and Rhyl, which necessitates a 15-month closure instead.
The project, funded by the Welsh Government and Denbighshire County Council (DCC), will protect about 2,100 properties at the cost of around £20m. With the course previously cited as a potential floodplain, marketing director and spokesperson at Rhyl Golf Club, Mike Pritchard, explained why the early closure is necessary.
“DCC and the sea defence contractors, Balfour Beatty, have asked that we move it forward to aid their programme, allowing them more time to get the heavy machinery and associated groundworks underway and to work to a more realistic schedule for what’s now involved. This does mean that the closure period is extended from 12 to 15 months. Members have been advised and appreciate the rationale behind the request.”
To quell disappointment in the decision, Pritchard explained that the early closure needn’t be that disruptive. He also said that there could be some benefits to the decision, including making the club more environmentally friendly: “As we know, winter golf can be even more challenging on the Rhyl coastline, so a closure over one-and-a-half winters isn’t the end of the world for some! It also means we have now been able to instruct architects to draw up the proposals for the UK’s first carbon-neutral golf club and clubhouse.”
A DCC spokesperson said: “We continue to work with Rhyl Golf Club to ensure we minimise disruption to the club during the construction phase, should funding be secured and planning permission be granted, for the proposed project.”
Initially, the plan was to build the sea defences across part of the golf club grounds. However, amended submissions propose construction opposite the homes of Prestatyn’s Green Lanes instead. The news follows the likely closures of other golf courses, at Maidenhead Golf Club, due to housing development, and two Wirral courses because of cuts. However, at least where 132-year-old Rhyl Golf Club is concerned, the closure is temporary. It should reopen in April 2024 on completion of the project.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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