Sheffield City Trust scrap cheapest golf membership

Golfers are upset after Sheffield City Trust scrapped its cheapest membership offer, forcing 131 people to pay at least £17.50 more a month to continue playing at weekends.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 28th May 2021, 3:19 pm

The trust – which runs five golf courses and is mainly funded by Sheffield Council – stopped its £33 a month after 1pm offer which allowed golfers to play after that time on any day of the week.

It means those who were on the membership will be forced to pay £50.50 a month (£55 a month for new members) to continue playing at weekends. To play only on weekdays it is £41.50 a month for existing members (£45 a month for new members).

Sheffield City Trust (SCT) told after 1pm customers in an email that their membership would be changing to the weekday subscription from June 1 and that it was being “upgraded” to include access to their gyms and swimming pools.

Sheffield Town Hall.

The trust confirmed there were 131 people on the membership.

One golfer said the “dramatic increase” they now have to pay to play their sport made it too expensive for many and all after 1pm members were complaining about it.

After contacting the trust, the golfer said they were told one of the main reasons for the change was low uptake.

Andrew Snelling, chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, said it was part of a number of changes to memberships.

He said: “Since the reopening of our golf courses on March 29 we have been delighted to see year-on-year increases in both membership and pay and play numbers. There is no doubt that golf is in a boom period and we are seeing the effects of that in the number of golf rounds being played on our five courses.

“During lockdown we reviewed the packages we were offering to our golf members. Changes were made to include membership at all Sheffield City Trust golf courses as well as providing complimentary access to our swimming and gym facilities across the City. We also introduced a ‘one month free’ discount on our annual memberships.

“Within these changes, we took the decision to discontinue some of the least popular options. This included the ‘After 1pm only’ membership, which had a low uptake.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, we offer a range of options from ‘Pay & Play’ to 20-round passes for infrequent players and competitive membership options.

“We believe this offers superb value for money when compared to other courses in our area.”

Its golf courses in Sheffield are: Beauchief, on Abbey Lane, Birley Wood, on Birley Lane, and Tinsley Park, at High Hazel Park. It also has Sinfin, in Derby, and Tapton Park, in Chesterfield.

The 20 round golf pass is priced at £250 and can be used at any of SCT’s golf courses between Monday and Friday, that works out at £12.50 per round.

Golf courses have been open since March 29 following the Covid-19 winter lockdown.

In March, SCT said its golf courses were “exceptionally busy” with nearly 7,200 bookings not long after they had been reopened.