PPGC Future - Update

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PPGC Future - Update

Peter Brown

I understand that many Members have not, for various reasons, been able to access the recent Email 'Newsletter' sent out by the Committee and it was suggested that I should post a copy of the 'Newsletter' on this website.

So, here it is :

Update on the future of PPGC
Latest position
 Hi All

Since our last communication of the 12th December progress has been made although we still do not have the absolute clarity we would wish to have. The following information will, hopefully, help to clarify the current position and the proposed way forward.


1. The impact of the swimming pool development has resulted in no changes to the actual golf course but facilities are much reduced. No café/bar, no dedicated car park, only a portacabin shop. The surrounding environment will become more like a building site as time goes on.

2. At some future point, we will lose the use of part of our golf course due to the culvert repair work resulting in a much less attractive golf experience.

3. Although the communication could have been more effective, the Council have demonstrated, both in word and deed, that they do support the provision of golf to the residents of Worcester. The new path to the first tee, dedicated Portacabin, actively working with Ravenmeadow to ensure we have an 18 hole course to play on is some evidence of this.

4. The Council have confirmed that they see the proposed collaboration with Ravenmeadow as a “temporary” arrangement. The “open area” status of the land prevents any permanent change of use without Government intervention. The Council have confirmed that they will continue to maintain the areas of the course that are taken out of use, because of the culvert repair work, to enable the course to be restored to the original 18 holes at some future point.

5. The Council confirm that the original plan to build a cabin-type permanent structure by the 1st tee to house a pro shop remains. It has, however, been placed “on hold” currently due to the uncertainty around the timescales involved with the impending culvert repair work.

6. The owners and members of Ravenmeadow have confirmed that they see any sharing arrangement as a positive step for them. Looking ahead, from a commercial perspective the Ravenmeadow management have stated that they would like this to be a permanent arrangement and will therefore be striving to make this arrangement as positive and attractive as possible for PPGC members.

7. Anecdotally, the responses of a substantial number of PPGC members have been positive and are keen to proceed at pace.


1. When the culvert work will actually commence? The Council’s aspiration is Spring to Autumn 2016 but this could change due to ongoing discussions around funding, scale of the work required etc. Therefore, no definitive commencement date is known at present.

2. What the precise extent of the culvert repair work and the impact on the golf course will be? The Council have intimated that the work will affect areas around the 18th (green/approach), 1st (tee and part fairway) and the 9th (green/approach). As it is former landfill that is being excavated, the likelihood is that there will be a need for a wider “exclusion zone” around the area of works due to the possible release of noxious fumes which may widen the areas of the course taken out of action.

3. How the Council will manage the provision of golf once the culvert repair is complete? The Council have confirmed that the course will be maintained during the works and the option of restoring it to its former state remains a viable one, as does the plan for a permanent cabin structure near the first tee. It would be helpful for us to understand the details around the arrangement between the Council and Ravenmeadow GC: e.g. period of the lease granted; T&Cs of the lease; decision process for renewing the lease - all of which affect the future of the current Perdiswell Park.

In light of the above, there appears to be only 3 feasible scenarios for the way forward.

Scenario 1- Dismiss the Ravenmeadow sharing proposal and remain on Perdiswell Park and continue to play the current 18 hole course until the culvert work starts; then play a reduced course (best case 15 holes/worst case 9 holes) until the course returns to 18 holes:

• Minimal “on course” disruption apart from the course reconfiguration ensuring a degree of continuity of play for members.
• The option of restoring the Perdiswell Park course to 18 holes with the addition of a permanent cabin near the first tee remains a viable option in the future.
• The likelihood is that the swimming pool development would be finished at that point and we would be able to access the new café area.

• We would have no dedicated facilities for golfers to use except for a cabin shop.
• Unknown timescales of when the full course would be restored.
• For the duration of the culvert repair work, players would have a substantially reduced golf experience/value for money playing on a reduced hole course leading to the likely loss of significant numbers of members
• Members would have to contend with the increasing disruption of the leisure centre development as well as the culvert repair work when it commences.
• The increased golfing credibility of PPGC earned over recent years would be diminished by a 9 hole/reduced hole course, surrounded by a building site.
• Depending on the reconfigured course, access to the first tee, and access back from the closing hole could be some distance away from the Portacabin and car park.

Scenario 2 - Collaborate with Ravenmeadow for the temporary period as proposed but only takes effect WHEN the actual culvert work commences:

• A combined Ravenmeadow/Perdiswell course would ensure members have continuity of playing on an 18 hole golf course of a comparable quality.
• PPGC members would gain access to much enhanced facilities.
• The credibility of PPGC would be further enhanced.
• Any differences in the overall comparative cost of playing would be actively managed to ensure any financial impact was minimised.
• Due to the temporary nature of the arrangement, PPGC would still have the option of reverting back to 18 holes on Perdiswell Park. The Course will be maintained in the interim and the Council confirm that there are plans for a cabin/pro shop near the 1st tee in the future.
• The Owners and members of Ravenmeadow are very supportive of the move and have already extended a warm and friendly welcome to PPGC members. Early indications are that every effort will be made to make any collaboration a success for all concerned.

• Lack of a definitive date for the change to become effective will lead to increasing dissatisfaction with the “off course” situation and likely loss of members due to non renewal of their membership.
• If the culvert work is delayed then members will have to contend with the increasing disruption and impacts of the swimming pool/leisure centre development.
• Although there is a commitment from the Council that returning to Perdiswell Park remains an option, there is lack of clarity on what the decision making process will be and what the provision of golf will look like once the culvert work is completed and the temporary collaboration is due for review.
• Lack of a definitive date would impact significantly on the ability of Ravenmeadow to plan and deliver the practical actions needed for the move e.g. course re-measured, tee signage, physical access/egress to Perdiswell Park, scorecards, engagement with Golf Unions.

Scenario 3 - Collaborate with Ravenmeadow for the temporary period as proposed but it takes effect as soon as possible but no later than 1st April 2016 irrespective of when the culvert work commences:

• As scenario 2.
• Definitive date provides certainty for all stakeholders enabling effective & timely planning.
• Members would only have to contend with the disruption on the Perdiswell site for a limited period. If the end date was known the view is that members are more likely to accept and deal with the situation which would minimise the numbers of members not renewing.
• Players would be removed at the earliest opportunity from the bulk of the disruption caused by the swimming pool/leisure centre redevelopment.

• Although there is a commitment from the Council that returning to Perdiswell Park remains an option, there is lack of clarity on what the decision making process will be and what the provision of golf will look like once the culvert work is completed and the temporary collaboration is due for review.


The Committee considered the above scenarios and voted in favour of scenario 3 as it provided the best way forward for members.

We have now formally advised the Council (email dated 7th December) that we wish to collaborate with Ravenmeadow GC as proposed but would want this to happen at the earliest opportunity but no later than the 1st April irrespective of when the culvert repair work starts. The following conditions were considered necessary to protect members’ interests:

• PPGC representative to be involved in the discussions between Ravenmeadow and the Council concerning membership fees.
• The collaboration with Ravenmeadow to be positioned as “temporary” and separate identities of PPGC and RM to be maintained although operationally we would want to function as “one club” e.g. competitions, social activities.
• PPGC representative to be involved in the review process along with the other stakeholders e.g. RMGC and the Council. After an agreed period there would be a need to consider and decide on continuing the collaboration or reverting back to the former 18 hole Perdiswell Park.

The Committee consider that this position:

1. Ensures that the impacts of this arrangement on us as a club would be minimised.
2. Members would have greater certainty around the future for their golf in the short/medium term.
3. Members would start to benefit from the enhanced facilities and environment as soon as possible.
4. Requesting the Council to commit to a formal review process, involving ourselves, would ensure that we have influence over the feasible options for the future.

We have been advised that our conditional request to set a specific date for the move is to be formally submitted to the next available Council Cabinet meeting in February 2016 for agreement. Whilst we cannot presume that such agreement will be forthcoming, the informed view is that such a proposal would not even reach the Cabinet stage if it did not stand a good chance of being agreed.


We propose to hold an “open evening” for all interested parties at Ravenmeadow GC in January to be attended by the Ravenmeadow GC management and representation from the Council to provide an opportunity to outline the likely future plans and for members of both clubs to discuss any issues, concerns or recommendations they may have.

The date is yet to be agreed by all parties but it is likely to be in week commencing 18th January

As ever, if you have any questions relating to this topic please feel free to contact one of the Committee and we will try to assist.


Perdiswell Park GC Management Committee
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Re: PPGC Future - Update

Bernard wood
many thanks