Cold Ashby Golf Club – alive and open for business

Cold Ashby Golf Club is embarking on an exciting new future after a Cooperative of members prevented the Club’s closure by acquiring it from previous owner David Croxton, who had been in charge for almost 41 years.
After Croxton’s attempts to sell the Club over the last few years proved unsuccessful as he approached retirement, he reluctantly announced over the summer that the 27-hole course would shut down on October 31st, 2019.
Faced with the prospect of having to move to another golfing venue, a group of long-time Cold Ashby members took it upon themselves to form a Cooperative partnership to acquire the ownership lease.
New Members Cold Ashby Cooperative Secretary Graham Jones explained: “The members were very sad to hear the decision to close Cold Ashby on October 31st.
“The groundswell of opinion was that this was a unique club and the membership didn’t want to split up and find a new golf course to play. So there was a determination from the members to keep it going.
“But we had to look for ways that we could formally acquire the assets and run the club. A Cooperative was the perfect vehicle to do that, so we did that and then set about asking members to support us.
“We had a big public meeting when almost 100% of members turned out. We then had to make them put their money where their mouths were, so we sent out invoices on a new fee system where they could buy shares in the club and pay fees.
“The majority have done this, so we are now a shareholding democracy as a club, and we have playing rights as well.
“For the member, there is a lot of history in Cold Ashby Golf Club – some people got married here, I did for example, so there is personal history as well as playing history involved in this club.
“The thought of playing somewhere else and losing all the friendships and all the memories meant that they were prepared to put their hands in their pockets and finance the club into the future.”
After being set a specific amount for financial investment to be reached two weeks before the end of October, the Cold Ashby Cooperative hit their target a couple of days short of the deadline.
With the papers all being signed off over the next few days, Cold Ashby Cooperative’s members and small interim board popped the champagne in preparation of becoming legal owners of the Golf Club on November 1st.
The Cooperative have confirmed there will be an elected new board on November 27th, and they will be advertising for a new manager.
Croxton’s son Greg, who has held that role for the last 16 years, will remain in interim charge while this process is completed.
Jones added: “We have advertised it as a fresh start. Our plans going forward are intent on making it a place where people will want to come and play again, visitors and members.
“We have an investment pot – most of that will go on the course, and some will go on the clubhouse. So we want to make it an even more attractive place, and get more people into Cold Ashby and playing the game.
“Plans are also still evolving, with the consent of the landlord, to attract non-golfers to come here, have a good time, bring their children and spend some money.
“Golf will continue at Cold Ashby Golf Club. We are open for play, so watch this space for exciting future developments.”

New Cold Ashby Cooperative