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St Andrews Hospital Golf Club, Billing Road, Northampton.

In an attempt to record the history of the club I would welcome any input by former members regarding the club.

A GOLF club with about 300 members was closed in early 2011 after a Northampton psychiatric hospital decided to take back the land. Bosses at the charity-run St Andrew’s Hospital told the St Andrew’s Hospital Golf Club that it intended to convert the nine-hole course into parkland for patients.

It means the club, which would be celebrating its 50th year, would close on Sunday April 3rd 2011.

The club had been in existence since 1960. The course had many alterations to the layout during the years due to the various changes in the main hospital site. The club moved to a new clubhouse in 2000.

The club had a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere,  where new members were always welcome.

Club captain Bob Lees said he was dismayed by the news.

He said: “It’s a bombshell. We now have to work out what we are going to do with 280 golfers, some of whom are aged in their 70s and 80s who have lost their wives and don’t know where they are going to go.

“I’m due to talk to the hospital next week but I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about it. It really is a shame.”

St Andrew’s Healthcare, which owns the hospital site, said it had no plans to build on the land and would retain the clubhouse. The charity said reclaiming the golf course was a move to create parkland for the enjoyment of patients, employees and visitors.

A spokeswoman said: “As the charity has grown, we now look after more patients than ever before; so it’s natural that we need more recreational space.

“Opening up the golf course will make it easier for people to walk around with fewer restrictions; they’ll also be able to access buildings across the site more easily for treatment and leisure activities.

“Having spoken with the club captain, we do sympathise with the committee, and have promised to work with them to manage the changes as smoothly as possible.

“We’re waiting to see what help the golf club needs and will discuss this with representatives further once we’ve received formal feedback.”

The company added that it will try to relocate the Ferguson Cup, the annual golf event held on the site, to a different course.