Golfer Ian Woosnam pleads with council over future of the Brackenwood course in Bebington

By Ed Barnes

2nd Feb 2023 | Local News

Brackenwood Golf Course looking north over Bebington. Credit; Keith Marsh, Brackenwood Golf Club
Brackenwood Golf Course looking north over Bebington. Credit; Keith Marsh, Brackenwood Golf Club

Former World No.1 golf champion Ian Woosnam OBE has written to Wirral Council objecting to the proposal to close the Brackenwood Golf Course.

The council is currently proposing to use the golf course land to improve biodiversity as well as provide sports pitches. It said this is to support its draft Local Plan which is currently being reviewed by the government.

Officers had considered allowing the golf course to be taken over through community asset transfer but this option was rejected over concerns it would cause golf courses across Wirral to lose money.

Two bids had been put forward and the plans over the course's future will be debated by councillors on February 2. One Bebington councillor described it as "a kick in the teeth" to campaigners.

Mr Woosnam over his career has won major championships, made Europe competitive in the Ryder Cup, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017. He was top of the Official World Golf Ranking for 50 weeks in the 1990s.

Mr Woosnam was behind one of the bids and said in a letter to councillors: "Brackenwood is a special place and the Golf Club has such a hard working group of people that are so connected to their local community, who I know support them back in equal measures.

"We want to make sure that this greenbelt land is secure for the future and that we can provide affordable golf for the people of Wirral, a place where we can encourage visitors and tourism to the area, which will benefit local business and the local economy.

"I know Brackenwood Golf Club also wants to have their clubhouse as a community hub and I have seen the amazing opportunities they have given to the community on their social media sites.

"I hope that, as a council, you can take my comments on board and value my experience as a professional golfer but most of all as a person passionate about providing opportunities for the community.

"It would be such a shame to lose what is an amazing asset as good as Brackenwood Golf Course where nature, leisure, and the whole community can all enjoy this greenspace together."

In the letter, Mr Woosnam said his company's mission is to encourage young people to try golf and "make sure finances are not a barrier to them playing and ensure they have free golf on our courses."

Mr Woosnam also said he is passionate about environmental issues andd improving biodiversity is supported on his golf courses.

Brackenwood Golf Club had put forward plans to increase biodiversity by creating wildflower meadows, bird boxes, hedgerows, and deadwood areas as well as maintaining ponds on the site.


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