Saturday, January 14, 2012

TROON MUNICIPAL CLUBHOUSE - Is this the future for Harling Drive site?

Is this the views of the past and future of the Troon Municipal Golf Clubhouse in Harling Drive ?
The illustrative images below have just been published on the Troon St Meddans Golf Club website, following a meeting of clubs who use the Harling Drive complex and the three public courses attached to it, on 10th January.
Troon Welbeck, who administer their own club rooms and lounge bar facilities within the clubhouse building have already expressed grave concerns in local press over the plans, but the St Meddans site reports that, with the exception of the Troon Welbeck representative present, representatives of other clubs who use the facilities who attended the meeting on 10th January were supportive of the plans

One club member writes on the website:-
"The meeting on the 10th Jan was mostly supportive. All clubs who are associated with the building was present, I personally asked the group the following questions.
Excluding the Welbeck, because listening to the comments from its representatives tonight it is clear they have issues, which by the way they have failed to share with the group tonight, Is there any other club that has any concerns with the redevelopment?

To which the room went silent.

In order not to misrepresent any clubs let me ask the same question but slightly different,
Excluding the Welbeck, because from the comments from its representatives tonight, do all the other clubs support the redevelopment?

To which all representatives present nodded in agreement, (excluding the Welbeck)

There was one objection, one gentlemen who was a member of Welbeck and Merchants of Troon asked what will happen to the Welbeck,

As you can see the Welbeck have concerns which they don't wish to disclose to this group, I think this is not going to be resolved tonight which is why I asked the question excluding the Welbeck, From a Merchants of Troon point do you have any concerns, to which the answer was NO.

XQ Regenerations have also shared some indicative plans with us. Please remember that they are all subject to surveys and Engineering reports on the building, the plan or rooms sizes could change, but it gives you an insight into what they are hopping to achieve".
The company, reported to have been set up with the sole aim of managing the project and running the building for an undetermined number of years, is XQ Regeneration who were represented at the meeting on 10th January.
What is clear is that there has been, and will no doubt be much more, discussion over the proposed development of the clubhouse site. Councillors and council officials will probably welcome any comments, both for and against the proposed redevelopment. 

If any reader would like to make constructive comment or points on the issue, for publication on our site, this can be done by clicking on the word 'comment' on the foot of this post, which will open a new window where you can leave your thoughts on the subject.


N.R.D said...

If I were a member of any of the other clubs at the municipal, I to would be delighted at the proposed refurb,but as a Welbeck member I beleive we are getting a poor substitute in the new building. It would appear to be half the size of the present facility [difficult to tell as there are no scale drawings available],no welbeck bar,fewer lockers,we would be using communal toilet facilities not our own etc. I would point out that Welbeck members over the years have spent over £300,000 on our facility while the other clubs have not spent anything,so yes,we do have major concerns over the proposals and also the financial viability of a £100 company that has not traded since inception in 2010 and therfore no track record, other than the personal track record of the directors,which may or may not bear scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

I would wish to echo the points made by NRD in that this may or may not be agood proposal. But the facts are that there is a huge risk to Troon Welbeck and if it were to suffer what of the JUNIORS No other clubs that use the Troon facilty take the time or make the effort to run a junior section (and welbecks track record in doing so speaks for its self) I must also question the decision by the council to propose handing over the building to a company with no track record to do as they please (there plans are indicitive only and will also be subject to planning)Or was this company the only option open to them.

C. Baird said...

I have to say that I consider that those who skulk about anonymously posting alarmist comments such as "what of the JUNIORS?" without giving any substantive analysis of what they are talking about as undeserving of any kind of reply. Pathetic.

However, I agree with Neil Downie that there is a danger for TWGC but not the way he describes. TWGC are being left out of the planning process out of their own choice, living in denial, refusing to acknowledge that the proposals will very likely go ahead, taking a "non-negotiable" stance and turning their backs on the opportunity to seek an improved layout for their rooms.

Also, if it were even relevant, but £300,000 Neil? Your committee has been telling the world £100,000 for months now?

Shurely shome mishtake?

An open and moderated discussion is also underway at,16.0.html

C. Baird said...

PS Another important point, further to Neil's comments - I forgot to mention that the plans on view and circulating as handouts ARE to scale. A posting explaining this in reply to Neil can be found on the St. Meddans site.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it TWGC's lease expires towards the end of this year - at that time you will have no welbeck bar,No lockers, If fact you will have nothing unless you participate in the re development (you also might to be able to negotiate your own personal toilet), O’My God what a good point you make !!! Your member can’t use communal toilet facilities!!! Perhaps your club should be renamed to ROYAL Welbeck !!!

Let’s not forget that there are 8 other clubs using the Clubhouse plus 91,000 Visitors a year, Let’s see them all use sub-standard facilities as this will keep the membership list healthy and the Royal Welbeck flag flying high!!

Surely TWGC must have been aware that the day would come when your lease expires !! - did your club management never consider that over the years having spent over £300,000 on your facility that your lease would not be renewed!! If I was a Welbeck member I would be angry as well, not at the redevelopment plan but the short sighted management of the club for spending such a vast amount of money on something you don’t own and one day will have to give back.

I can understand why TWGC are opposing this opportunity – the “Sankt-Florian-Prinzip” of SOME of your members but surely the rest of you can see this is an opportunity to secure your own future. Royal Welbeck Will enjoy significant benefits both in terms of improved facilities and reduced costs and looking at the plans you will only lose about 10% space which for a club of your size is not the end of the world.

k milliken , troon st meddans said...


according to the plans there is to be a dedicated junior area in the new building. this is perfectly clear in the plans which are to scale.

it is obvious that the anonymous poster was having a pop at troon st meddans for not having a junior section last year. i can give an explanation to this if it is required. i am pleased to confirm that a new convener is in place and troon st meddans will be running a junior section this season and in the future. what is more alarming to me is that , asuming the anonymous poster is a welbeck member, he has completely overlooked the bentick ladies junior section and the work that they do.

this should only serve to remind everyone that there is more to golf at troon municipal than troon welbeck and st meddans.
9 golf clubs use the facilities and thousands of visitors on top of approx 1700 season ticket holders.

this is why i back the refurbishment 100%.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Mr C Baird.
Please sir do not accuse me of being pathetic. We live in a democracy and as such Iam entitled to my opinion. What worries me as a parent is the future of junior Golf in Troon as no other club seems able to accomodate these boys and girls in the way Welbeck has over the years. As such I will fully support them in whatever way I see fit.

C. Baird said...

I refer the author of the previous posting to that of Kenny Milliken's (above) and point out that St. Meddans is constitutionally obliged to have a Junior Section.

The original posting was "pathetic" because it was simply a negative "throw away" comment with no substantial explanation of its suggested problem. The author's agenda is either not actually Junior Golf, or they have a shockingly poor knowledge of what goes on at the Municipal clubs.

Finally, I am delighted to see the anouncement at the top of the Blog. today, Friday 20/1/12.

C. Baird said...

FOR THE RECORD On the subject of Juniors, since they have been dragged in here, I wish to add that it has taken MANY MONTHS of internal agonising over the difficulties of 2011 and a hugely embarrassing impasse which saw the St. Meddans Juniors failing to have any meetings at all last year, to get to this point. The St. Meddans committee are delighted that Kenny is to take on the role of Junior Convener. St. Meddans are constitutionally required to run a Junior Section and this comes as a great relief to us all at the club and, I am sure, to all golfers in Troon and at Ayrshire County.

Anonymous said...

There is little doubt that Welbeck Golf Club deserve tremendous credit for their achievements over the years, especially thos of their current crop of former and current junior players. They however are not the only club who nurture junior players in Troon, with Troon St. Meddans and Troon Bentinck Ladies having successful junior sections over the years. As I see it many Welbeck members, including their captain and other high profile figures have stated that they support the refurbishment of the Troon clubhouse, which is very positive. However still confused as to why they seem to be holding up progress when they support the project? I am also confused with the statement about Welbeck ceasing to exist. My personal opinion is that this a bit of scaremongering on their behalf as the club will continue to flourish regardless of how big the exclusive rooms they are given are.It is important for ALL clubs to get behind this proposal as the building is about to fall down and if not careful the clubhouse will go the way of Bellisle and NOBODY wants that do they?

Anonymous said...

Maybe some common sense is being being demonstrated by Welbeck Golf Club, after Richard Cox, Secretary, stated in Troon Times that everyone in Welbeck accepts that building needs to be refurbished and that "nobody was against refurbishemnt and why would they be" when asked about the recent meeting of all clubs.He apparently also accepts that the option of Welbeck staying where they are is "not possible". Can we assume that Welbeck will now wish to move forward with all other parties and approve the refurbishment of the clubhouse? Come on guys you know it makes sense!!

R.Baker said...

There can be little argument that the clubhouse requires significant capital investment and the indicative designs which have been produced represent an exciting vision of what might be achieved.
In arriving at the current proposal no doubt the Council have considered all other alternatives and believe this option represents best value and is the most likely route to deliver what would be a major improvement.
It would be of interest to know whether the possibility of a leisure trust, with a subsidiary company established to operate and manage the commercial aspects, such as the clubhouse, and through which profits could be channelled back to the Trust (and the golf courses)was ever considered.
As a life member of TWGC I would certainly hope that the club participate fully in the redevelopment project, as only by doing so will they be able to challenge the current assumptions and ensure that they achieve the best possible deal for the current and future membership, and also hopefully see a vast improvement for all the current and future stakeholders in the building.
One final comment in response to an earlier anonymous post would be that whilst TWGC has indeed invested significant sums into a facility it will never own this is no different to the current proposal, as I understand it, whereby the asset will remain in the Council's ownership with XQ raising and investing the capital necessary to support the development and therafter manage it for a fixed period. In this regard I do not think that previous management committees can be described as shortsighted in trying to maximise the facilities on offer when there was no other significant investment into the building. It would now however be shortsighted not to engage with all other interested parties in the current discussions to achieve the best possible outcome.

Anonymous said...

The posting by R Baker is an extremely astute and sensible overview, for which I actually agree with 100%. The Welbeck now need to get onboard with the project as there is a danger that they will be left behind if they dont.

Anonymous said...

The local MP Brian Donohoe has essentially retracted his support for Troon Welbecks "plight", in light of him apparently receiving factual information and a copy of the plans from Councillor Philip Saxton. The MP has stated that he was misinformed by Welbeck and that they are not being excluded from the new proposals which are "impressive". This must surely let the Welbeck know where they stand. It is time to face facts. The Welbeck are NOT being omitted from the new plans but still insist that they are being hard done by. Its time to wake up and smell the coffee.Some common sense needs to be applied and support this plan for the good of your own members and all of the other stakeholders!!

Anonymous said...

As a welbeck member I find the posturing quite embarassing,we should have been stakeholders in this process from day 1 with the developers, instead of taking a hubris attitude. From what I can see, we will have our own space very and little overheads. If we continue to absent from this process we will get a raw deal and ultimately could end up with nothing.

John Aitken said...

Troon Welbeck Golf Club happen to have for good reasons, (Club facilities, Club ethos, Club longevity etc) a different point of view than some others on the PROPOSED, INDICATIVE, plans that South Ayrshire Council are promoting for a "Re-development" of the Troon Clubhouse facilities. Troon Welbeck members voted unanimously & conclusively that the "proposed" plans would severely damage the essence of the Troon Welbeck Club. It is entirely our right to hold that point of view and fight to sustain the survival of our Club.
That the so-called "plans" promulgated by SAC Officers are so lacking in substance and merit, is the key reason for the Troon Welbeck position. If you are impressed by some hastily flung together computer graphics, then I think "you might need to get out more" in modern parlance. (All "plans" of course are immediately qualified by some nice get-out phrases).
No amount of on-line "shouting" or abuse on this or any other website, changes the fundamental fact that SAC Officers,appear to have bound themselves to an expedient but ill-considered short-term fix for their many past years of neligence.
Mr Milliken, I believe of Troon St Meddans Golf Club, indicates elsewhere that he "does not care who re-develops the Clubhouse". That is a view that he can choose to hold, given that his Club would at least superficially have nothing to lose. He should however not fall into the trap of assuming his is the only view, or indeed the one that matters.
At Troon Welbeck Golf Club we do care, about the impact of Council behaviour, because we have an interest in our Club and in the future survival of ALL golf at Troon Municipal courses.

Words to be wary of:

i) "factual" - meaning, "proposed/ indicative" or "subject to change at the latest whim"

ii) "open and moderated" re. St. Meddans web forum - meaning, immoderate and personally vindictive.

iii)"hubris" - meaning, something people claiming to be anonymous should not bandy around on weblogs otherwise they may be guilty of "hubris".

John Aitken
Troon Welbeck Golf Club Member

Anonymous said...

The posting by the Welbeck member who is embarassed by the "posturing" and sees the benefit of paying very little rental and no overheads,may be even more embarassed to learn that apparently the developers offered Welbeck an opportunity to exist rent free and free of any other bills such as electric,heating and maintenance cost if they agreed to integrate with all other clubs. I have it on good authority that Welbeck insisted on having exclusive rooms, which they have been provided with as the plans show but yet still complain they are the only club paying rent. If they insist on exclusive rooms then they should pay. If this is true then they should be ashamed of themselves as they are trying to portray themselves as some sort of victims here and hiding behind their intimations that they do not want the project to fail for the other clubs while secretly hoping it does in the vain hope they get to keep what they already have at the expense of everyone else!!

k milliken troon st meddans said...

mr aitken

would it be ok if we stick to facts when debating the issue?

the ramblings from welbeck members, Robin Baker aside , through this blog, the local press and the troon st medddans forum are at best ambiguous and some are just incorrect. welbeck are a proud golf club and rightly so, but a few things are puzzling me . for clarity could you explain what the welbeck ethos is? while you are at it, longevity etc and how they offer a different point of veiw?

but the one big mystery to me is what exactly is the "essence of troon welbeck golf club" and how will that be damaged ?
with regards to the plans and the nice get out phrases, i have NEVER come across a set of plans that are hard and fast as a rule. they are always subject to change. while we are on the subject of the INDICITIVE plans. one of the complaints from welbeck members is that the rooms are not big enough to accomodate the club and then in the next breath say the plans are only INDICITIVE or PROPOSED, therefor using your argument you could end up with rooms LARGER than expected.

your final qoute regarding the survival of ALL golf at troon. nothing but scaremongering. GOLF AT TROON IS NOT UNDER THREAT!
if you feel the need to quote me, could you keep it in context in future and the only trap anyone is falling into is that anyone with a different opinion to you and your fellow members is anti-welbeck.

finally, please dont feel the need to lower yourself to get your point across