THE fallout following the surprise closure of one of the county’s most popular golf clubs continues as members try to understand what led to the club’s directors taking such drastic action.

In a statement, the directors of Raglan Parc Golf Club said they are “heartbroken by what has happened and apologise for the current state of affairs”.

They revealed there had been a breakdown in communications between the directors, who lease the premises under the trading name Raglan Parc Golf Club Ltd, and the landowners, Raglan Castle Properties Ltd.

In the statement, the directors claim there had been a disagreement between the two parties regarding the timely payments of rent and the ownership of the golf club’s fittings and machinery.

In addition, the directors said, the current lease on the golf club was signed in 2014 and would last five years.

Despite indications the drafting of a new lease had been agreed in principle in September 2017, the directors allege, the landowners have since been unwilling to enter any negotiations.

“During 2018 we have looked to either negotiate a long lease or purchase the Land and Buildings from the landlords,” the directors’ statement read. “They have not responded directly to any of our approaches.

“Without a long lease or the prospect of outright purchase it has proven impossible for us to raise the necessary finance to continue trading through the coming winter months.”

The club’s sudden closure was announced by directors on Thursday (November 1), and while members have been able to attend the club to pick up their belongings, clear out their lockers, and fulfil arrangements already booked at the club, they were not given any prior warning the club would close down.

Those players who had booked sessions with the club's resident PGA professional, Chris Murphy, would be able to do so until November 7 but would then need to travel to a club in Gloucester for the lessons.

One member, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was “an absolute crying shame” the club had been forced to close.

“We weren’t consulted,” he said, referring to Raglan Parc’s roughly 450 members. “We were just sent a cold email. It’s disgraceful. We are the lifeblood of the club.”

Many of the members, he said, attended an “emotionally-charged” tournament at the club on Saturday (November 3), which went ahead, despite the club technically being close, because the plans had already been put in place.

Some members, he revealed, had been too upset to attend.

“We’re so tight-knit and we socialise with each other,” he said. “There’s some positivity because we don’t want to lose what we’ve got.

“There’s also sheer disbelief – it’s all up in the air until we get some answers.”

The same man said he believed many of the club's members would have responded positively if they had been consulted because a lack of money was the issue.

"If [the directors] had come to us, we would have injected money into the club to keep it going," he said.

The Raglan Parc landowners, Raglan Castle Properties Ltd, were contacted multiple times but declined to comment on the club's closure.

Raglan Parc is the latest major golf club to close in Monmouthshire in recent years.

Dewstow Golf Club, on the outskirts of Caldicot, closed in April 2017 after trading for 30 years, with the clubhouse bought privately and converted into a home.

Alice Springs Golf Club in Kemeys Commander, near Usk, shut in 2015 because of dwindling membership numbers.

The most recent plans for the club would, if successful, transform the site into holiday let apartments.