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.