As solo, warm-weather sports played at country clubs, golf and tennis have long been linked together, albeit with a healthy amount of competition between enthusiasts of each sport. This week, one of the most iconic venues in tennis, Wimbledon’s All England Tennis Club, took the competition a step further by finalizing plans to purchase the golf course next door to expand the tennis club.
Members of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club voted to sell its club and 18-hole golf course to the All England Tennis Club. According to the Mirror UK, the total sale will come out to £64 million. The vote to close the golf course was a tight one for local golfers. They needed 75% of membership to approve the sale. In the end, 82% of membership voted in favor of the measure.
So what, if anything, will these golfers receive for surrendering their playground to their famous neighbors? Each member will take a home a windfall of about £80,000.
With the purchase, the All England Tennis Club will add 73 acres of land, which will triple the size of its property, a move somewhat reminiscent of land grabs made by Augusta National Golf Club, though on a larger scale. In this way, the club can hold qualifying matches for Wimbledon, one of tennis’s four grand slam events, on site. They are currently the only grand slam who does not do so already, according to ESPN.
Phil Brook, the chairman of the All England Tennis Club, told ESPN, “”In many ways, it will be business as usual for the Wimbledon Park Golf Course during the next couple of years, but the AELTC will use this time to give careful consideration to our next steps.”
As Brook notes, the golfers don’t have to store away their golf clubs just yet. The course will continue to operate until December 1, 2021.
Wimbledon, or “The Championships, Wimbledon” as it’s officially known, take place every year in June and July. Golfers regularly attend the historic tournament. Even Tiger Woods made an appearance this year to give a clinic to kids.