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Colin to the rescue of Basildon Golf Course
6:58pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Echo News
THE newboss of Basildon Golf Course proudly told how he aims to restore the course to its former glory and end eight years of turmoil.
Colin Jenkins, 51, who has a proven track record of reviving failing golf courses, has already lined up a prestigious event for next September – a PGA regional – which will feature a host of professional players.
Mr Jenkins, who operates three other courses in the country, has already got to work in sprucing up the 18-hole course, which has been neglected in recent times.
He stepped in at the 11th hour to save the course, when it was looking likely Basildon Council would close it after a failed search to find a new operator.
Mr Jenkins lives in Kent, but will be at the course most week days.
He said: “Some people would think this course is a busted flush, but I think it’s a beautiful course that just needs some TLC.
We want to restore the course to its former glory.
“We have given performance assurances to the council, which guarantee I run the course as it should be run and I will work hardwith the fantastic team here to make sure that happens.”
Aside from sprucing up the park in the short term, long-term plans could include refurbishing the bar and even introducing a club shop. Mr Jenkins has taken on a 75-year-lease.
The welcomed move brings to end a chequered few years for the course, after the council privatised it in 2005.
Previous operators, London Golf Management, took over the course on a temporary basis in 2011.
After Basildon Council failed to find a suitable tender to take it over, it looked like it would close until a deal was struck with London Golf Management to keep it running for another few months – and then Mr Jenkins came to the rescue.
The council was spending about £100,000 a year in subsidising the course, but now Mr Jenkins will run it on his own.
Tory council leader Tony Ball, whose father was a founding member of the club in 1967, said: “It has been a painful few years and we couldn’t continue to subsidise it, but eventually we’ve got the best outcome.”
If the council or Mr Jenkins believes the course isn’t proving to be viable, they can end the contract within two years.
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