TWO golf courses are up for sale and the council says they could be used for glamping, rewilding, or more golf courses.

This week, Brighton and Hove City Council announced it had put Hollingbury and Waterhall golf courses on the market.

The council is inviting proposals to let the sites for the next 25 years after the current contract ends in March.

It said one option is to devote the land – which sits in the South Downs National Park – to nature and rewilding.

The council said the site could be also be used for “an outdoor activity centre, education, camping or glamping, as an events venue, a restaurant or cafe, or as a wellness centre.”

Or, it said, the land could be used for more golf courses.

Waterhall Golf Club members said they were upset by the news.

One said: “It’ll be sad to see it go. I feel a bit nostalgic.

“The club’s been going almost a century, since 1923.

“Some of us are hoping that a miracle might happen. Others are just resigned to it.

“It’s not the oldest course in the world, and it’s quite hilly. There’s less footfall now because a lot of people who play golf are getting older, and they don’t want to be playing on a course with such extreme hills.

“It’s a great shame. Everyone who comes here says that.

“The reality is golf is in decline.

“We had a big boom in the sport in the Eighties, but lifestyles have changed.

“Golf takes time. There’s speed golf, and there have been attempts to whittle a round down six or nine holes.

“But it still takes time. People are more into other sports like cycling now.

“It means a lot to me. It will be a real shame to see it go.

“To be fair to the council they don’t have an endless pot of money.

“That’s the diplomatic line. But there’s quite a lot of anger about it all.”

Across the country, fewer people are playing golf.

The council said that over the past eight years, the two golf courses have seen a fall in membership and season ticket holders.

It said that in Brighton and Hove, a large number of courses are competing in a very small area, and pointed out that a nearby course in Hassocks closed recently.

It said the sport is in decline due to an oversupply of courses, the length of time it takes to play a full 18 hole round (roughly four hours), the cost of playing, and the rise of other sports like cycling.

Councillor Alan Robins said: “This is an exciting opportunity to provide a wonderful outdoor experience for our residents and visitors.

By inviting proposals on long term leases for golf or other leisure uses we hope to receive a range of options to give both courses a sustainable future.”