As City boys and Surrey golfers step up their campaign against Wentworth Golf Club’s new £100,000 joining fee, it seems that the troops on either side of the row are preparing for a battle.
The Wentworth Estate Roads Committee, the governing body that looks after the interest of Wentworth’s residents, has hired lawyers at Quinn Emmanuel to see what measures they can take to disrupt the golf club’s flagship golf tournament, the PGA championships.
Undeterred, the club has responded by saying that it is still very much planning for the event to go ahead, saying: “We are continuing to work with all interested parties on planning for the event in May.”
The WERC, a group of elected officials from the Wentworth Residents Association, owns and controls the roads around the estate. According to the estate’s rules – written in 1964 – the permission of the roads committee is required for Wentworth’s golf club to erect structures for its tournaments.
Following a row with Wentworth’s Chinese owner Reignwood over a proposed £100,000 rejoining fee for current club members, the residents and the local roads committee are now threatening to withdraw consent to stop the tournament taking place in May.
Tariq Rafique, founder of private equity firm Morning Star Capital who spoke on behalf of the WERC, said that the group has received more than 100 letters and emails from residents concerning the tournament.
A spokesperson for the group told The Capitalist that it has met with officials from the PGA Tour to discuss the complaints.
As well as the £100,000 rejoining fee, Reignwood wants to reduce the number of memberships from 4,000 to 800 and double the current annual membership fee to £16,000.