I’ve had a long conversation with the owner of Darenth Valley Golf Club to discuss the “issues” we have with them. At first we discussed the cleats issue and initially he was adamant that we shouldn’t wear cleats in the area where we have coffee. His point was that they have a strict rule that no golfing shoes are allowed in that room. I said that this would be unacceptable to our members and if he was insistent on this issue then perhaps we should not come on Wednesdays. He backed down and said we can wear cleats in that area as long as our shoes were not carrying any mud. I thought that this approach was reasonable. So please could riders ensure that their shoes are clean when they enter the clubhouse.
We then got on to the issue of where we park our bikes. I said that some of our people didn’t like that attitude of some of his staff on this issue and he replied that some of us had been rude to him. He also doesn’t like the fact that we ride our bikes on the narrow pedestrian paved area leading to the golfers entrance to the clubhouse and he regards this as a potential danger conflicting with golfers and their trolleys. I accepted this view but said that the small compound he had previously earmarked for our bikes was too small and that another area should be found. We then went outside and agreed that the best area was the gravelled area inside the picket fencing.This is a large area leading to the steps at the main entrance and we can lean our bikes against the fencing within that area. He requested that we should dismount at the bollards at the entrance to this area, park our bikes and walk to the entrance that we normally use. This seems a workable solution and I ask that all our members comply with this. We next meet at Shoreham on Wednesday 17th January. If riders from other clubs continue to park in the forbidden areas (as happened last Saturday,) we should still park our bikes in the agreed area.
We both thought that it would have been better if we’d had this conversation about a year ago.