GOLF CLUB officials are confident they will be able to reach an agreement that will keep their club running.
Tynedale Golf Club at Hexham is facing cuts in subsidies at the Northumberland County Council-owned course on Tyne Green as the authority tightens the financial belt.
But club secretary Alan Nelson said yesterday : “Hell will freeze over before this golf club closes. The worst-case scenario has been presented, but I don’t think there is a major threat. We are going to negotiate what the council can do, and what we can pay for.”
The current greenkeeper is employed by the council, which absorbs a maintenance deficit of almost £26,000.
The council’s regional green spaces officer, Sam Talbot, told local councillors: “We are no longer in a position to continue with our current arrangement of absorbing the deficit, as our budget is too constrained. This discrepancy is one of the largest in the county.”
But after a meeting of the golf club committee, the council will be asked to provide details of costs.
Mr Nelson added: “I have asked for a menu of pricing, and then we will have to do our sums. I am sure we will be able to work something out on the deal.
“We have taken certain jobs off the council, such as looking after the bunkers and cutting some of the grass. Without a doubt we can find a solution – we work amicably with the council and financially we are on a sound footing. There is no reason why the relationship we have got cannot continue.
“And I have emailed our members to tell them that hell will freeze over before this golf club ever closes.”
The municipal course close to the River Tyne at Hexham was inherited by Northumberland County Council from the former Tynedale District Council upon local government reorganisation in 2009.
In 2005 it lost a number of members when the course was closed off due to underground water operations, but has made a good recovery since.
Council officials will meet the club the week after next to discuss the next move.