A GOLF club in Highworth will close for good just before Christmas because of “unsustainable losses” – despite its owners originally promising to keep it open for many years.

Twigmarket signed a 25-year lease for the Highworth Golf Centre in 2014 but announced to disappointed members earlier this week that the facility will shut permanently on Friday, December 20.

The nine-hole golf course off Swindon Road has been a fixture of the town and forms part of the membership package for Broome Manor Golf Club in Old Town, which is also leased by Twigmarket.

Club chairman Peter Connolly said: “It’s always very sad when a leisure complex closes, especially one with so much history.

“I used to take my grandson to play at the pitch-and-putt there so I have good memories of it. This will be a great loss.

“There was a boom in golf course membership during the 80s but that popularity has not maintained.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to the centre and I doubt anyone will save it because it would cost a lot of money.”

A Broome Manor senior committee member who did not wish to be named said: “Our members are surprised and disappointed by this news because it feels like we’re losing 25 per cent of what we pay for.

“How can they just decide to close the centre? Surely it breaks their lease with the council, though I couldn’t say for certain because we have not been able to view the lease’s conditions.”

Another committee member said: “When you think that we have lost Moredon and now Highworth, it makes the assurances I got from the council at the time of the tendering for running the facilities sound very hollow.”

Twigmarket blamed low membership numbers for the closure but will continue its 75-year lease of the Broome Manor courses.

Jeremy Sturgess of Twigmarket said in a message to members: “We regret to inform you that Highworth Golf Centre is to close because of unsustainable losses.

“Like many courses, Highworth has been a victim of the sustained decline in golf participation rates over the last 15 years which has resulted in falling green fees and membership numbers.

“This is a sad day for staff and customers and we want to thank both for their support and hard work over the years.”

Twigmarket leases the golf courses from Swindon Borough Council. The council could not provide a comment before the Adver's deadline.

Highworth golfers will still have the option of playing at the Wrag Barn Golf Club off Shrivenham Road.