Mentmore Ryder Cup

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The inaugural Mentmore Ryder Cup challenge was played at Verulam GC on 23rd July.

Every one had a great day with the Lord Rothschild team competing against the Lord Rosebery team for this cup.

Captain Steve Marriott for Lord Rothschild was defeated 5-2 by the Lord Rosebery team captained by Pete Sheridan.

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Mention & thanks should also be given to our new ‘MOBS’ (Mentmore Old Boys) Captain Tim Martin who did a wonderful job of organising the whole day and we look forward to another great day next year.

Open Letter

Mr. S. Halabi
Mentmore Golf Corporate Limited
Mentmore Golf and Country Club
Leighton Buzzard
BEDS LU7 0UA
9th July, 2015
Dear Mr. Halabi,

With recent events over the past few weeks and completion of the sale to your new company, many members, both golf and leisure, are obviously keen to know when the gates will be re-opened and what the structure of the business and new membership will be.

Keeping the membership together has been of paramount importance to us and Anne Bridges (Ladies Captain) and I have been arranging “away” matches to this end. Whilst this hasn’t prevented some from joining other nearby clubs, many members are keen to stay at Mentmore where they have built up friendships over the years and are eagerly awaiting to hear your proposed plans. Without any other communication, they look to us, as Captains, to be able to provide them with information.

In the current economic times and specifically in the leisure and golfing industry, where the very nature of membership retention is becoming increasingly challenging we think there is mutual benefit in management and membership working together. People join clubs for many different reasons, and whilst commercial events can add prestige, the core membership provides the stability that any club requires to remain successful.

With this in mind we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, hear your plans and if possible, open up regular channels of communication. We very much hope that we can then reassure the members that the Club is likely to develop for the benefit of all parties in the coming years.

We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely
Martin Cowling Anne Bridges
Men’s Captain Ladies’ Captain

Latest Update 5th July 2015 + July 6th Update

Latest Update

As members are aware, we submitted our bid last Friday to Grant Thornton and they were hoping to announce the decision by close of business yesterday, Friday 3rd.

I spoke to them at 4.30 Friday and the matter has still not been completed. We understand our offer is likely unacceptable and they must be considering an alternative to which we have no information. We were one of 3 bids submitted.

We are aware of the petition to seek a compulsory liquidation by HMRC on Monday 6th July of Mentmore Leisure Golf and Country Club Limited will go ahead on. This petition is being supported by a number of additional creditors and some of the team will be present in the High Court.

We will communicate any news as and when it is received. We are awaiting a final decision for the sale of the assets and the outcome of the winding up order. We expect things should be clearer by end of day Monday.

Until then we wanted to keep everybody informed of what is going on.

Further Update 6th July

Sale Update

Dear All

We have been advised in the past couple of hours that the sale of MLGCC was concluded on Friday afternoon to a new company Mentmore Golf Corporate Limited. Few details are currently available, but the sequence of events as we understand them are as follows:

29th June 2015 – 3 bids for MLGCC were received by Grant Thornton; one on behalf of the members, another from a corporate golf club operator and the third from the existing owner.

1st July 2015 – a new company Mentmore Golf Corporate Limited was incorporated with Simon Halabi and Susan Hollyman as the directors. The shareholder of the new company is Mentmore Golf Investments Limited, a Jersey based company. Mentmore Golf Investments Limited was the owner of MLGCC.

3rd July 2015 – Late on Friday afternoon, Grant Thornton were appointed as administrators of MLGCC. Later that evening a sale was completed to Mentmore Golf Corporate Limited.

6th July 2015 – As a consequence of the appointment of Administrators on Friday, the winding up petition which was due to heard in the High Court today, was suspended.

We were advised formally of the sale this afternoon, and we understand that a letter will be going to update all creditors and members later this week.

This is all we currently know, and are sensitive to the fact that speculation will continue until the position is clarified with certainty. On behalf of all members we will continue to seek further clarification and will update you all as soon as we have new information that we can share. In the meantime, Anne & I have appreciated the wide ranging support and encouragement that we have received from so many which enabled us to put forward a realistic and credible offer for the club.

We will keep you updated as matters are clarified.

Men’s Committee Update

Men’s Committee Update

We met this week and obviously a lot of the discussion was around recent events. Hopefully we should know more later today, or early next week.

Just to let you know that :-

  • The Summer Cup is suspended and will hopefully resume soon with new time-lines.
  • All scratch matches have been suspended this year but friendlies may be arranged.
  • Men’s matches are going ahead. Luckily most of the home fixtures have been played so we are just have the “away” fixtures now.
  • Mixed matches are all away

That’s all for now folks

Answering Concerns

Answering Concerns

We are getting many emails back asking more in depth questions which I hope the following will answer many of these and concerns. Also bear in mind that this situation has rapidly escalated since Thursday.

The purpose of us seeking financial commitment is to attempt to raise the money to see if there was a possibility for us as members to purchase the Golf Club Assets and business at an economic price we feel confident as members to operate as a private members club. That is to say an entity which is a non profit making business but a high quality golf and country club with facilities becoming of what one would expect.

This commitment is not intended to indicate a “purchase price” for membership or an indication of fees. The investment cost if successful, would be introduced into the business as a form of interest free loan. Once we have gained 100% ownership, and let us be clear this will be zero involvement with the previous owners, the members will sit down and agree a suitable joining fee and annual subscriptions for full members of golf, gym etc and will also address issues re families and juniors. The members will decide this and as members sign up the joining fees will be used to replace the initial commitment from individuals. We do not expect members to have to pay an unreasonable amount in joining fees or membership subscriptions. We are looking at these scenarios currently.

This is important as for those members offering higher sums of commitments should not expect this is what they will be required to subscribe as members and neither those who commit smaller funds. We hope if successful to identify the level of investment required (a) to purchase the business and (b) to invest in the course and facilities. It is hoped over time this investment will be achieved from the “joining fee” elements. We hope the annual fees of golf, gym etc and the benefits of the catering , societies, weddings etc will manage to cover the daily running of operations.

It is important to make this clear to avoid any confusion.

Some other commitments we would like to make clear:

(1) We insist on zero involvement of previous owners

(2) We insist on no further or future liabilities with the previous owners

(3) We will only bid an amount which as members we would consider appropriate to have a sustainable business going forwards

(4) We must have a business plan which can demonstrate can operate in a sustainable fashion and can avoid external finance

Our major aim at this point is to seek a suitable war chest from which we can raise an appropriate bid to secure the business, provided the said bid as stressed earlier provides a sustainable private members club.

Hope this clarifies

June 100 Club Draw

June 100 Club Draw

The draw took place yesterday at 3 Locks Golf Club after Martin’s alternate Captain’s Day Competition.

The winners were:
1st – Ticket No 11 – John Considine
2nd – Ticket No 136 – Laura Hook
3rd – Ticket No 194 – Gary Hooper
4th – Ticket No 124 – Paul Timms
5th – Ticket No 185 – Ronald Price

Congratulations to all the winners – the next draw is Wednesday 15th July – time and place to be decided!!

Anne & Martin

Saturday 20th June

Further Clarification

Basically matters have moved on VERY SWIFTLY this week.

I met with Grant Thornton Thursday and they have been appointed to seek an interested buyer before MLGCC Ltd “probably” go into administration.

This process HAS to be done by next Friday with bids on the table.

I KNOW that there are least 3 other companies bidding plus a possibility another Halibi backed company.

The final decision will be down to Grant Thornton and the major 2 creditors – Halibi and HMRC

This is probably a “once in a lifetime opportunity for the members to own their own club members have an opportunity to buy the assets

Regarding any creditors, the company is not yet in administration therefore it still exists but just not trading. Any claims at this point until administration is declared must remain direct with the company.

Only until it enters administration and public announced and the administrator requests claims from creditors should anyone do anything different.

In short continue to make your claim to Mentmore Leisure Golf and Country Club Limited.

We need to act swiftly if we have a chance of doing this.

Please register your financial commitment at this stage with ladiescaptain@mentmoregolf.club

Club Administration – Friday 19th June

MLGCC Ltd in pre-pack Administration Friday 19th June

It has come to our notice that Mentmore Leisure Golf and Country Club Ltd is in pre-pack administration with Grant Thornton acting in the process.

This means that potentially the business is up for sale. This is not an open sale.

I have therefore taken the opportunity to register an interest on behalf of the members.

It is expected that other parties may be interested in acquiring the club but we have an opportunity for us, the members to possibly organise a “members’ buy out”, and take the club into private membership, owning our own club.

A “focused” group of members have met and are preparing a business plan and projections.

We would like anybody interested in investing in this venture, to register their interest with us at

ladiescaptain@mentmoregolf.club

It would be helpful if you could let us know what financial commitment you would envisage investing. Our initial plans are to offer lots from £500, up to a maximum of £10,000 per member.

i.e £500…….£1,000…….£2,000…….£5,000…….,£10,000 or multiples of £500

With (to be defined and agreed) membership benefits for equity members….as opposed to non-equity members.

It is anticipated that events will move very quickly so if you could respond by Tuesday 23rd June please.

Sunday 14th June

We are endeavouring to arrange regular Away Days to keep the members together but understand during these times, that you will be playing at other clubs to keep your golf going and to stay in contact with your friends.

We are all keen for Mentmore to re-open under more favourable ownership but until matters are sorted out we will be playing “away” as much as possible.

Some clubs that have offered reduced rates are :- Leighton Buzzard,Magnolia Park, Chiltern Forest, Redbourn, Harleyford, Ellesborough, Whipsnade, Dunstable Downs, Aylesbury Vale, Aspley Guise, Windmill Hill, 3 Locks, Bekhamstead,
These clubs are obviously keen to try and pick up any new members which is your call.