Directors quit as TV golf club hits rough: James Cusick reports on further dramas after fly-on-the-wall documentary

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The Independent Online
THE FAIRWAYS at Northwood Golf Club, made nationally famous in last week's fly-on-the-wall television documentary, were covered in snow yesterday. The clubhouse was unexpectedly quiet. Yet underneath the exterior calm, a new behind- closed-doors battle to control The Club is being planned.

Most of the members of the club, in Middlesex, learnt yesterday that the entire board of directors had resigned. Most will not know that those same board members are quietly planning a campaign to be re- elected.

Since the film was shown on Channel 4 last week, members have pressed the directors to explain how their club was turned into a televised peep show; how their gentlemen's 'traditions' had been mocked; how their golfing prowess had been laughed at; and how Northwood's 'internal business' had come to be filmed.

The resignation notice announces the entire board will quit 'effective' from the date of an extraordinary general meeting on 18 March, called to allow the board 'to explain the full facts of the situation'. A petition has been circulating for a week, demanding the directors' resignation. One member said: 'They've all quit to pre-empt a petition of over 100 signatures being presented.'

Although the directors are down, they are not completely out. Bryan Lund, the chairman, said: 'I am sure that many of the board will be seeking re-election, as the rules allow. I myself have not ruled out seeking re-appointment.'

The resignations, according to Mr Lund, were 'a response to an unusual situation. We chose to resign to allow the members to decide.'

The club secretary and official spokesman, Ron Bond, said Mr Lund 'was gutted' at the response to the film. However, according to a member of the production team, at a preview of the film Mr Lund had applauded and said: 'That is us - that is a portrait of our club.'

Other members have since said the film 'failed to show anything good about Northwood'.

Preston Lockwood, 82, the actor and star turn of The Club, said: 'It couldn't have been better news that the board resigned. But now there must be real worry. I mean, some of the members in here think John Major is doing a great job. That must mean their critical faculties are a bit suspect.'