Wincanton Golf Club faces closure in six months

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Financial challenges and declining membership mean that the golf club, located within the racetrack, will shut its doors in April.

Wincanton’s golf course

Wincanton’s nine-hole golf course, located within the racetrack, is no longer viable, say the owners, who have announced it will close on 1st April. It was opened by The Jockey Club in 1994 and has been popular with golfers across the south west region.
In 2015, the Club headhunted a greenkeeper from Sherborne Golf club and the quality of the course improved appreciably, attracting considerably more members. Coaching is also offered by Andrew England, who has more than 40 years’ experience as a PGA golf professional.
Ten months ago, tractors, mowers and other machinery, valued at more than £100,000, was stolen from the racecourse.
At the time, racecourse manager Jack Parkinson said: ‘Insurance will cover the majority but the biggest issue for us is the waiting time on some of these vehicles. That’s where we might struggle a bit. Things like tractors take 18 months to two years so we’re going to need to hire in a lot of machinery to manage.’
Some members say that the quality of the greens and fairways has deteriorated. One, who did not wish to be named, commented: ’The theft didn’t help but the owners have let it slide. The greenkeeper has been told to do other jobs around the racecourse, the quality has fallen and members have left.’
Another golfer posting on the Golfshake website in January shared his view of the course:
‘I’ve played a few times over the years and up to this last year, it has always been just about OK. However, it really has fallen by the wayside …
‘There seems to be absolutely no interest in golf from the owners.
‘It is now being run by the manager of Exeter racecourse, who, quite naturally, has absolutely no idea whatsoever on running a golf course.’

Wincanton’s golf course


Jack Parkinson became manager at Exeter in 2017, and took over at Wincanton racecourse – and the golf club in November 2020, in addition to his Exeter responsibilities.
He told The BV: ‘The decision to close the golf course has not been an easy one and we appreciate that this will not be welcome news to many.
‘A number of external economic factors have led to a huge rise in operating costs, and this, coupled with a consistent reduction in memberships over an extended period, has meant the course is no longer viable.
‘The last day of play on the course will be on Sunday 31st March 2024 – pay and play places remain available until then.
‘We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know so many members and would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their loyal support.’

  • Racing returns to Wincanton on Thursday 19th October for the start of the jump racing season, followed by the Bob Champion Charity Raceday on 29th October.

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