Belmont Lodge and Golf Club, Hereford.
Due to difficult trading conditions it was announced that Belmont Golf Club would be closing in March 2014.
Belmont Golf Club’s operator, Golf Inns, posted the following statement on the club’s website in January 2014. “We regret to confirm that Belmont Golf Course will be closing permanently on March 1, 2014. The closure comes as a result of many years of difficult trading. Despite significant investment and effort we have been unable to turn the business around and whilst this has been a difficult decision, the current situation is unsustainable. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank staff, members, visitors and suppliers for their support at Belmont over the years.”
The club was founded in 1983. The eighteen-hole parkland course with fine undulating fairways was designed by Bob Sandow. Five holes ran alongside the River Wye and there where good views all over the course, particularly to the Brecon Beacons.
In the mid 1980s the secretary was Alan Standring, club membership of 550. The professionals were; Bob Sandlow and Mike Welsh. The course measured; Men, 7,027 yards; Ladies, 6,014 yards. Course records were; Amateur – J Price and C B Jones, 79; Professional – P Elson and C Holmes, 71. Green fees were £8.
In 1988 it was listed as Belmont House Golf Club. The secretary was M J Francis and the professional M Welsh, club membership 370. The course now measured 6,448 yards with a SSS of 71.
In 1991 it was still listed as Belmont House. There had been a slight adjustment in yardage to 6.480 yards, the professional was still M Welsh. Course records were; Amateur - R Hemmings, 74; Professional – A Griffiths, J Lomas and S Marr, 70.
In the mid 1990s it had become Belmont Lodge and Golf Club.
In 2004/06 the course measured 6,511 yards with a SSS of 71. The professional was Mike Welsh and the secretary/manager B Macaskill. Club membership during this period was 500.
Club professional at closure was Richard Hemming and General Manager Mark Suddes. The course measured; White tees - 6,369 yards, Par 72, SSS 71; Yellow tees – 6,020 yards, Par 72, SSS 69; Red tees – 5,562 yards, Par 73, SSS 72.
Below is the scorecard. (from 2005)
A friend of the website gives his recollections of Belmont Lodge. He also supplied several images of the course.
"Since we retired in 1996 my wife and I have made golfing breaks a hobby.
We found Belmont Lodge in about 2000 and have been there mainly twice a year ever since and would have continued to do so.
We were very saddened to read of its closure as we always enjoyed the course, the accommodation, the restaurant and the whole environment there.
Belmont was a course of two distinct halves and we always scored better on the hilly front nine than we did on the mainly flatter back nine.
There were some lovely holes and some very hard ones, some good views out to the west and over the Wye.
The course was always in good condition.
We have too many good memories of our golf at Belmont to write down (not unless we want to bore you to death) but some that stick are the 3rd where a blind shot hard left of the green could work its way down and be found nicely on the putting surface – or if it missed the green could be 100 yards below it!
The 4th –a short par 3 – had a steeply sloping green , if you were left with a downhill put you could easily 4 put from there!
The 10th, a par 3 from a very elevated tee, in full view of the bar and terrace, was harder than it looked but one day we both hit the green and, to a lot of applause, both birdied it. Many another time we had a 5 or 6.
You then played alongside the Wye, flat fairways and some interesting greens until you got to the 17th where you had to drive up and over a hill onto a plateau. This was a long par 5 and I don’t remember ever scoring well on it. A 7 would have been welcome.
The last time we played the 18th we did well. You had to drive well along the level ground then turn through virtually 90 degrees to the right and play up a very steep hill to a completely blind green with bunkers hidden to catch what looked like a good shot. This last time we were both on for 3 and sank our putts.
Now that it has closed we feel sad for the members and the staff. We had the impression of a good Seniors section and some very keen Juniors. No doubt nature is well on its way to reclaiming the course.
If it ever opens again we shall go back."