ANGRY golfers have attacked a rise in the cost of playing on a council-owned golf course – which they say is left in a terrible condition all year round.
Portsmouth City Council has ramped up the cost of adult and senior citizen season tickets to use Great Salterns Golf Course, off Burrfields Road, by £30 to £629 and £429 respectively.
The council just doesn’t seem to have a clue how to maintain a golf courseRobert Reeds
But players say it’s not fair, given the authority has allowed the course to get in such a bad state.
Robert Reeds, 72, of Waterlooville, says it’s frustrating given the next cheapest alternative is Hurtmore Golf Club in Godalming – more than 40 miles away. Mr Reeds said: ‘The course is disgraceful. The maintenance programme is terrible.
‘The council just doesn’t seem to have a clue how to maintain a golf course.
‘Most of the grasses have a disease in them which never goes away. But the council says it can’t do anything about that because the budget doesn’t stretch to that.
‘We have to play on temporary mats for six months of the year. When I started playing here in 1999, the state of the course was 10 times better.
‘The season ticket price then was about £360, and it’s nearing double that now.
‘The course is going backwards, not moving forwards.
‘When you ring up the council and ask whether you can play 18 holes, someone says there’s only seven holes open.
‘I would go to another course tomorrow. But I am a pensioner, and it would probably cost more, about £50 a week extra in petrol, just so I can play three times a week like I do.’
Despite the increase, the council has reduced the price of junior tickets by £36, and sliced £100 off the intermediate maxi ticket for 18 to 21-year-olds to £250. Intermediate Maxi tickets for 22 to 25-year-olds will remain £350.
But adult and senior citizen weekday tickets will increase by £1 to £17 and £14 respectively.
Portsmouth Tory culture boss Linda Symes said: ‘As with any sports activity, costs to maintain and repair facilities rise year upon year, but we’ve actually held the ticket cost for the past two years, with prices unchanged since April 2014.
‘While we have to make a charge to cover the work that goes into maintaining these facilities, we try to keep costs as low as possible in order to encourage as many people as possible to participate in sport.’