Holes could be halved at Blackpool's Stanley Park golf club

The clubhouse at Stanley Park Golf Course
The clubhouse at Stanley Park Golf Course
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Reducing Blackpool's Stanley Park Golf Course to nine holes is among the options being considered by leisure chiefs who have been running the facility since its previous operator went out of business.

But fears have been raised the resort could lose the amenity which is considered a heritage asset due to its links to courses including Augusta which holds the US Masters tournament.

Blackpool Council stepped in after previous operator Mack Trading entered voluntary liquidation last October, meaning the lease was forfeited and reverted back to the council which owns the amenity.

The authority agreed to operate and maintain the greens until March 31 this year while it explored future options for the 18-hole course which stretches over both sides of East Park Drive.

The clubhouse has also remained open throughout.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said the club had lost a lot of members to rival golf clubs including North Shore and at the Village Hotel.

He said: "Options include to curtail the course with players remaining in the Stanley Park perimeter and playing nine holes twice and the other land then put to another use."

Coun Blackburn was quizzed about the future of the playing area during a meeting of the council's Resilient Communities and Children's Scrutiny Committee.

Coun David Owen said he was concerned the heritage of the course could be lost.

The greens, which opened in 1925, were designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie who laid out more than 50 courses including Augusta, home to the US Masters.

Coun Owen said: "We have a heritage asset in the form of the golf course. We feel it is something special Blackpool has and I would be reluctant to see us lose it.

"But who is going to take it over?"

Coun Blackburn added: "My understanding is the organisation makes money not out of the golf, but out of the running of the clubhouse.

"We are managing the day-to-day operation to make sure members can continue to pursue their hobby."

Coun Blackburn said the council was also looking for potential investors with an outcome likely to be reached following the local elections in May.

When the council handed over the running of the greens to Mack Trading in 2010, the facility needed a £300,000 investment to plug finances after the golf course incurred a loss of £97,000 the previous year.