Phoenix Park Golf Club are disbanding after more than 80 years.

Angry members claim they are being forced to close their club after the owners of the football-golf complex - Soccer Zone - informed them they could no longer have seven-day memberships.

Treasurer Keith Farrell said the greenkeeper dropped the bombshell at their annual meeting last week when he read out a letter from the owners of the golf club and synthetic soccer pitches at Thornbury.

"We were told the directors regretted that they were having to cancel the current arrangements regarding fees for Phoenix Park Golf Club," said Farrell.

"They are the sole owners so obviously they can do this. They take the club fees which go towards the upkeep of the golf course. We have run our own competitions and sorted out our union fees. This decision came as a bombshell to us.

"Soccer Zone say they have taken this decision because of lack of support in the bar, which they own and run. But they also want to use the weekends exclusively for pay-and-play golf.

"They have told us they would be pleased to receive five-day membership but that is no good to us. People work during the week - we need to play our competitions at weekends.

"If we took up five-day membership, we would have to pay £12 a day extra at weekends and we would not have exclusive tee-times for our competitions.

"And without qualifying competitions there are no handicaps. There is no point in playing golf if you haven't got a handicap. Because of all this we have taken the decision to disband. Soccer Zone clearly believe they can make more money with pay-and-play."

Farrell said at the end of March, memberships would have brought in nearly £30,000. "How are they going to make that up in pay and play?"

But Soccer Zone clearly believe they can make up the money.

A spokesman said: "The subscriptions would more likely bring in under £20,000. This is a business decision.

"Before, we couldn't let anyone on the course between 7.30am and 11am at the weekends because of the competitions - and that is the busiest time. The decision has been taken by the company directors. We have tried to work with the committee to integrate both the competitions and pay-and-play but they wouldn't give us any leeway.

"We don't make enough money just from the memberships. They have put up a notice saying the club are disbanding."