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Thomas Dai

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2020, 12:15:22 PM »
31st March is only 7 months away.
Play CC while you can.
Atb



Tony_Muldoon

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #76 on: September 05, 2020, 12:46:19 PM »
Depressing.  I've had 3 great fun rounds here and will go back on the Monday after BUDA. Anyone?


I'm not sure this is quirk in the sense I think most golfers mean. It's excellent golf on a highly tilted course! Balls seem hard to lose (unless MILES offline) and good shots are rewarded. Cheltenham is close by and yet they can't attract enough members in 2020.
 Its a sad mystery to me.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Tom_Doak

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #77 on: September 05, 2020, 12:51:26 PM »
It's an important distinction to find out whether it's the course or just the club that may close.


Can someone find out how much is spent each year on maintaining the course?  It wouldn't seem like a big number.

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #78 on: September 05, 2020, 01:42:48 PM »
It's an important distinction to find out whether it's the course or just the club that may close.

Can someone find out how much is spent each year on maintaining the course?  It wouldn't seem like a big number.

It's the course that will close. There is a lease on the land for a course. The good news is the course is privately owned common land so there aren't many alternative uses.

I don't know the operating costs, but I believe the house is a mandatory separate Council lease The house is a tip and doesn't drag in incredible foot traffic. With only 200ish members that doesn't work.

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 26, 2023, 09:25:01 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

John Mayhugh

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #79 on: September 05, 2020, 05:43:24 PM »
2020 just keeps getting worse. Awful news. Hopeful something can be done to keep it as a golf course. I loved it.

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #80 on: September 06, 2020, 02:03:15 AM »
There was a nature programme on BBC Radio 4 this week about Cleeve Common. It sounds a lovely place.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m4qd

The golf course was mentioned in passing, with a member helpfully describing it as "not a great golf course but a great place to play golf."

I suspect that far more local people use the common for dog walking, cycling, and generally getting out in the open air than play golf there. Yet a few golfers must impact seriously on all these other users of an amenity with "common" rights.

I can only imagine that the majority of local residents would be delighted if they could enjoy an area of local beauty without running the gauntlet of flying golf balls. It's their common too, after all.


Golf does not appear prominently on the website of the charitable trust which administers the common.

https://www.cleevecommon.org.uk/

I'm not sure what traction there would be locally for a campaign to save Cleeve Hill Golf Course. To most non-golfers it is surely an historic anachronism that there is ev
en a golf course there. The golfers of Gloucestershire certainly don't seem to value it too highly and prefer to play elsewhere on "proper" courses. Are a few GCA wingnuts sufficient to save a place like this? I would hope so.

Cleeve Common is not publicly owned, but is common land. I guess much rests on the attitude of the actual landowners and Tewkesbury Borough Council, who appear to have something to do with the course.

Sean?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 02:40:20 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #81 on: September 06, 2020, 02:38:06 AM »
There was a nature programme on BBC Radio 4 this week about Cleeve Common. It sounds a lovely place.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m4qd

The golf course was mentioned in passing, with a member helpfully describing it as "not a great golf course but a great place to play golf."

I suspect that far more local people use the common for dog walking, cycling, and generally getting out in the open air than play golf there. Yet a few golfers must impact seriously on all these other users of a commonly owned amenity.

I can only imagine that the majority of local taxpayers would be delighted if they could enjoy an area of local beauty without running the gauntlet of flying golf balls. It's their common too, after all.

I'm not sure what traction there would be locally for a campaign to save Cleeve Hill Golf Course. To most non-golfers it is surely an historic anachronism that there is even a golf course there. The golfers of Gloucestershire certainly don't seem to value it too highly and prefer to play elsewhere on "proper" courses. Are a few GCA wingnuts sufficient to save a place like this?

Sean?


As the land is privately owned I would think the owners don't share your perspective. Obviously the tenant is struggling to make the lease pay. The shame of it is CC is really in the same class of course as Brora. A little fame can go a long way.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #82 on: September 06, 2020, 02:50:28 AM »
Sean,

While you were replying I was modifying my post to reflect the research I had been doing into the ownership of the Common.

It is all rather confusing - who actually owns the place? What is the involvement of Tewkesbury Council, on whose behalf the golf club administer the course? How many golf clubs are there? I've heard mention both of Cleeve Hill and Cleeve Cloud.


Possibly more importantly, who owns the clubhouse? Tip or not, it undoubtedly has a value, even if only for its footprint.

If it is just a case of a tenant getting into financial difficulties surely there is an opportunity for a new tenant taking over? The course will still be there.

Dog walkers and horse riders contribute nothing to a landowner's coffers. A golf course will provide revenue of a few grand a year at least.

You're right about a bit of fame. A successful crowdfunding appeal could go a long way to raising not only money, but public awareness. It's worked in spades for Brora and Cavendish!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 03:00:09 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #83 on: September 06, 2020, 03:27:18 AM »
I am not confident of the complete situation. I believe the land is privately owned common land leased to a Trust connected with the common land who lease it the borough council who lease it and the house to a golf operator (a club rep?). The house is a separate lease and may be owned by the local borough council, but I think whoever takes the course has to take the house as well. I believe the pro has a separate lease for his shop.

Think of Cleeve Hill as privately owned course which has members who have no say in the management of the course etc. There are plenty of courses like this in the UK, its just that Cleeve Hill is on common land which seriously limits its potential use.

The golf course existed when the land was registered as common land.  Golfers and other recreational users have co-existed for a loooooong time.

I don't know what the club (Cleeve Cloud) is doing about the situation, but I don't believe they have a financial stake other than dues.

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 26, 2023, 09:28:00 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #84 on: September 06, 2020, 03:58:26 AM »



 The house is a separate lease, but I think whoever takes the course has to take the house as well.

This is most likely the main problem.



The golf course existed when the land was registered as common land.  Golfers and other recreational users have co-existed for a loooooong time.


I'm sure you're right. However, in the current litigious age of health and safety and risk assessments, for how long can golfers and other recreational users of any land co-exist?




Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #85 on: September 06, 2020, 04:13:30 AM »

The house is a separate lease, but I think whoever takes the course has to take the house as well.

This is most likely the main problem.

The golf course existed when the land was registered as common land.  Golfers and other recreational users have co-existed for a loooooong time.

I'm sure you're right. However, in the current litigious age of health and safety and risk assessments, for how long can golfers and other recreational users of any land co-exist?

I am skeptical of H&S explanations for anything.  Much of the time H&S is used as an excuse.

I would be curious to know what the insurance is for golfers/walkers being injured on a golf course due to an accidental terrible shot rather than stupid decision-making. I am guessing public liability premiums aren't onerously expensive. Its pretty easy to build the insurance aspect into the green fee. I recall getting an insurance ticket at Borth and Ynyslas when the green fee was paid.

At Cleeve Hill, if walkers stick to paths (and most of the time even if they don't), its quite easy to play safely. There are no trees blocking views and hiding walkers such as is the case at Reigate Heath and Meyrick Park. Plus, Cleeve Hill is on a huge site of something like 1000 acres.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 03:48:23 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #86 on: September 06, 2020, 06:02:40 AM »
The 'trustees' of the land don't want golf there. That seems the biggest problem. Tewksbury Borough Council are not onside.


CC only has 180 members so no clout to claim it is well used, some winter days no one plays, it is like Siberia up there.


The rent for the course is very high.


The green fees are very cheap, membership is very cheap, the club to survive have been doing all sorts of rat-shit deals, where as a better route might be to promote it is as good and charge proper money but I suspect it would be a wasted route as fundamentally no one really wants to play golf there unless it is cheap, the GCA group/type are a tiny fraction of what people actually want.


Clubhouse is a valuable plot. Currently not in great shape.


I would imagine it is a one man job to maintain. I think they may not take as much as 200k in a year.


H & S issues over common land can be very difficult to navigate. I have had one situation where the course was forced to close because the footpath/golf course situation was too dangerous. Yes it got insurance but only with a £1000 excess and the excess was likely to double with each claim....we live in a world where it is easy to say "My son Tim was hit by a golf ball whilst flying his kite"....the solicitors will advise to settle. People know how they can extract a grand or two very easily, having a difficult excess situation is a reason not to invest a lot of money into a project, I think CC is more free roam or wants to be free to roam to the public a bit like Painswick.


I think CC is actually quite busy atm with the 'spike'.


Will find out more this week.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 06:05:03 AM by Adrian_Stiff »
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Tom_Doak

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #87 on: September 06, 2020, 12:08:59 PM »
Adrian's post highlights what a complicated mess modern society has made out of something that worked effortlessly for +/- 100 years.


I agree with Sean that Cleeve Cloud would benefit from positive publicity and I'm sorry I am no longer in position to provide it.  When I was writing up The Confidential Guide, I had Cleeve on my itinerary to see, but it poured rain that day and we had to skip it.  Had I seen it then, it might be in the front of the book, and Painswick would be the one threatening to close today.  :P   [I did include it in the second printing, but did not reorganize everything to change the content in the Gourmet's Choice.]


Painswick, Cleeve and Minchinhampton Old are an entire class of golf courses that are not well represented in the literature of the game, and indeed anywhere but here on GCA.  Links golf and heathland golf are celebrated and some of the little hidden gems are fetishized, but these commons courses [or whatever is the correct term] were passed over by Darwin and Sir Peter Allen and The Confidential Guide, and are pretty much unknown on this side of the Atlantic.  Of course, a big part of the problem is that they are all in England and England does not spend money promoting golf the way Scotland and Ireland do.


It would be great if they had a collective identity and a little golf trail all their own, but after reading Adrian's post, I see how difficult that would be in the present era, and it saddens me.

Michael Whitaker

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #88 on: September 06, 2020, 12:47:04 PM »
Not sure how things are managed in the UK, but is there not some kind of historical designation that could protect CC if it were approved? If yes, could we not collectively start and promote a campaign to have CC protected?
"Solving the paradox of proportionality is the heart of golf architecture."  - Tom Doak (11/20/05)

Michael Whitaker

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #89 on: September 06, 2020, 12:53:35 PM »
It is true that there is a challenge between golfers and the general public at CC. When Craig Disher and I played there we had to wait a LONG time on the first tee for walkers to clear the path leading to the car park. For a left-hander who doesn't always know the direction my tee shots will travel, it was a very scary beginning to my round. I could see me "beaning" someone in the back of the head as they headed down the path. I can see how a H&S conflict between the general public and golfers could be a major problem for the future of the course.
"Solving the paradox of proportionality is the heart of golf architecture."  - Tom Doak (11/20/05)

Jon Wiggett

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #90 on: September 06, 2020, 02:45:11 PM »
Nearly all 'common land' is privately owned. It is called 'common land' due to the grazing rights that some farmers enjoy dating back to medieval times. The problem the club has is a lack of members and therefore income.

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #91 on: September 07, 2020, 02:27:36 AM »
The 'trustees' of the land don't want golf there. That seems the biggest problem. Tewksbury Borough Council are not onside.

CC only has 180 members so no clout to claim it is well used, some winter days no one plays, it is like Siberia up there.

The rent for the course is very high.

The green fees are very cheap, membership is very cheap, the club to survive have been doing all sorts of rat-shit deals, where as a better route might be to promote it is as good and charge proper money but I suspect it would be a wasted route as fundamentally no one really wants to play golf there unless it is cheap, the GCA group/type are a tiny fraction of what people actually want.

Clubhouse is a valuable plot. Currently not in great shape.

I would imagine it is a one man job to maintain. I think they may not take as much as 200k in a year.

H & S issues over common land can be very difficult to navigate. I have had one situation where the course was forced to close because the footpath/golf course situation was too dangerous. Yes it got insurance but only with a £1000 excess and the excess was likely to double with each claim....we live in a world where it is easy to say "My son Tim was hit by a golf ball whilst flying his kite"....the solicitors will advise to settle. People know how they can extract a grand or two very easily, having a difficult excess situation is a reason not to invest a lot of money into a project, I think CC is more free roam or wants to be free to roam to the public a bit like Painswick.

I think CC is actually quite busy atm with the 'spike'.

Will find out more this week.

Why would the Trust not value the course rent income if it is high?

I have a suspicion Tewkesbury Borough Council own the house and car park, but not the course. But the course and house are probably packaged as a rent deal. The Council has invested what looks to be next to nothing in this asset. It may be the leasee is expected to spend a minimal amount on upkeep. I also suspect the Council wants to sell the house and lot. That pretty much throws the club on its ear and the steady income with it. Although, it seems feasible to go old school and meet at a nearby pub it hotel and let pro continue collecting green fees. Although, there needs to be place to store maintenance equipment. Not a likely outcome I know.

The situation really needs someone to buy the house and lot, probably knock the building down and build a small, functional cafe style house. Seems very risky without some control of the course and the scope for improvement. I can easily see this creeping over a million to buy the property, fix it up/knock down and rebuild and invest a bit in the course. Jeepers, the membership would need to be doubled to have any chance to make something like that pay off. Unless somehow the new work to the course upgraded the profile significantly...to the point where a 50 quid green fee could charged. Hard to see that happening.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 03:47:16 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #92 on: September 07, 2020, 05:31:09 AM »
TBC certainly don't own the land. You might be right about the club house and plot they might own that which might be worth seven figures in that area, I am speculating that CC closing could work in their financial favour, hence not onside, but much may be hearsay and in dealing with councils I have found that they are rarely financially driven so I just don't know.


That aside losing the house might not be so bad a course can work on much lower numbers with just a hut or small one man type operation, the key to financial success/staying alive would be to run it on a shoestring with just a few staff and accept low throughput.


I do know the rent but I don't think I should be putting it on here, it is high IMO but there seems other reasons why they conservators want no more golf on the hill.


Looking at it financially as a going concern it looks like a loser.




A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #93 on: September 07, 2020, 05:53:57 AM »
I think I know the rent for the house and course as well. It doesn't seem high to me, but with only 180 members paying sub £500 a year the numbers don't look great if there isn't substantial visitor income. If there were 300ish members the numbers look far better. It seems to me should all fall into place and someone decided to buy the freehold of the house to use for golf then at the very least the membership would have to double and the visitor would also likely have to be at least £35. That strikes me as a very risky proposition unless the course can be improved...even then its risky. 

I still don't understand why the Conservators would want to lose the income from golf unless they found a sugar daddy. Most of these Trusts run an a shoestring budget which relies heavily on grants.  Guaranteed income is gold. There is more to this story!

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #94 on: September 07, 2020, 06:44:45 AM »
Anything more than a peppercorn rent almost certainly makes a club like this unviable. Plenty of clubs who own their course outright struggle to make ends meat!


Iíve heard a figure and it most certainly isnít a peppercorn rent!


Sadly, Cleeve Hill looks a dead duck. ☹️

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #95 on: September 07, 2020, 06:56:21 AM »
Anything more than a peppercorn rent almost certainly makes a club like this unviable. Plenty of clubs who own their course outright struggle to make ends meat!

Iíve heard a figure and it most certainly isnít a peppercorn rent!

Sadly, Cleeve Hill looks a dead duck. ☹️


Ya never know. It could be that if planning permission is required for the new owner than a provision for a small golf building could be included in the permission conditions...if the Trust is on board and the club members get active. Though, it doesn't look promising.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Niall C

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #96 on: September 07, 2020, 08:31:28 AM »
Interesting comments on ownership, I hadn't appreciated that common land in England could be privately owned never mind that most of it actually was private. Having been there it is hard to see how the land could be used for anything other than recreation/grazing, notwithstanding comments on land values. If it is common land then how can you alienate peoples rights over it by selling it for housing or whatever ? I don't know enough about English property ownership law to comment but interested to hear from those in the know.

I tend to think that something will happen to bring back golf even if the club goes in abeyance for a few years. With sheep all over it and the land not being developed for anything else then it wouldn't be too hard to resurrect the course I wouldn't have thought.

Niall


Niall C

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #97 on: September 07, 2020, 08:59:42 AM »
Painswick, Cleeve and Minchinhampton Old are an entire class of golf courses that are not well represented in the literature of the game, and indeed anywhere but here on GCA.  Links golf and heathland golf are celebrated and some of the little hidden gems are fetishized, but these commons courses [or whatever is the correct term] were passed over by Darwin and Sir Peter Allen and The Confidential Guide, and are pretty much unknown on this side of the Atlantic.  Of course, a big part of the problem is that they are all in England and England does not spend money promoting golf the way Scotland and Ireland do.

Tom

I could be misinterpreting what you mean by common courses but if your definition is wider than courses that are just on common land but are basic rural local courses run on a shoestring then I think you get plenty of them all round GB&I and probably account for a significant proportion, and they certainly don't get promoted whether they are in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland.

What keeps them going isn't necessarily visitor revenue but the members themselves. When they lose interest then game over.

Niall

Sean_A

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #98 on: September 07, 2020, 10:13:56 AM »
Interesting comments on ownership, I hadn't appreciated that common land in England could be privately owned never mind that most of it actually was private. Having been there it is hard to see how the land could be used for anything other than recreation/grazing, notwithstanding comments on land values. If it is common land then how can you alienate peoples rights over it by selling it for housing or whatever ? I don't know enough about English property ownership law to comment but interested to hear from those in the know.

I tend to think that something will happen to bring back golf even if the club goes in abeyance for a few years. With sheep all over it and the land not being developed for anything else then it wouldn't be too hard to resurrect the course I wouldn't have thought.

Niall


I wonder if non-land owners were allowed to register land as common land? I know in our village parishioners went to court to stop the land in front of their homes being registered as common land. It couldn't be determined who actually owned the land, but the parish council was recognized as the authority to protect the land.  So the land is registered as Common Land, but it isn't actually so.  It is only protected as such....I spose until can prove they are the owner of the land. Its a very odd area because its part road to a house, the frontage for a repair garage and the the front of a house.  It looks the front garden for this house, but it ain't their land!  Its all so complicated.


Ciao 
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: The Quarries of CLEEVE CLOUD To Be No More?
« Reply #99 on: September 07, 2020, 10:41:51 AM »
There are numerous ways land can be common or the same as common land.


Lord of the manor situ where the lord owns the land and allows common grazing....often the key is grazing rights and sometimes in the UK when you buy a house someone from 1854 has the right to drive his sheep over your garden going to market once every 500 days.


Land can be left by someone in their will 'for the use of all the people to enjoy'...this will be left in trust, that trust will change and the new trustees may decide golf does not fit with Tim flying his kite.


You certainly won't be building houses on Cleeve Hill or Cleeve Common, and almost certainly the land can't be bought. As Niall states plenty of UK courses operate over land in this type of bracket, perhaps 1 in 10...maybe almost half of the UK golf courses the land is rented.


Footpaths are another area that can cause hassle and stress ( H & S ) and this can occur even if you own the land....such are our UK laws you have no rights to 'shoe' someone off your land if they are on a footpath.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

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