A South Auckland golf course has closed, to the disappointment of its members, after Auckland Airport declined to renew the club’s lease so the airport could build a new road.
Auckland Airport – which owns the land – will construct a bypass between State Highway 20A and State Highway 20B on the site and upgrade the adjacent Nixon Rd to alleviate congestion on other roads near the airport.
The Aviation Golf Club operations manager David Campbell said their lease ended on October 31. They had only found out the lease for the Uenuku Way property would not be renewed in May this year. Because they no longer had a lease they could not renew memberships.
The lease expired at the same time as memberships so club members still got a full year’s use out of the club.
“We’ve been here over 40 years so obviously a lot of long- and short-term members are very disappointed to lose their golf course,” Campbell said.
“It’s the cost of progress I suppose.
“The constitution states that because we don’t have 50 fully paid up members the club is no longer there for the objective and needs to be liquidated.”
Campbell said there was likely to be a surplus after assets were sold. Once the bills were paid any extra money will be donated to a sporting charity decided on by the club’s board.
Liquidator Jessica Kellow confirmed the club was in solvent liquidation and said the official report would be out on Tuesday.
At least three other golf courses in the area have closed, relocated or downsized in the last few years as more land is sold for development or infrastructure.
Nearby Manukau Golf Course, now operating as Windross Farm, relocated to Ardmore recently after the land it was on was sold to Metlife in 2015.
Papakura Golf Club closed in 2011.
The Grange Golf Club in Papatoetoe has merged with Royal Auckland Golf Club, near Middlemore Hospital.
The new merged club will operate on both courses, but some of the land at the Royal Auckland site has been sold to Mansons for development.
Now the Aviation Golf Club has closed, the nearest golf course to the airport is the merged Royal Auckland and The Grange club on Hospital Rd, 11km away.
Auckland Airport spokeswoman Lisa Mulitalo told the Herald in June this year that the two parties had a “strong relationship” and the airport would look at Aviation Country Club’s redesign proposal in the coming weeks.
“The club has known for some time that we would at some stage need to take back part of the course for roading to support traffic flow through the airport precinct and we have been in discussions about this with them over recent months as the club approached the end of its lease.”