Golfers to get their fair share

The UK's oldest Jewish golf club is pulling back shares from members in order to protect Jewish membership.

Last week Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds, a private club opened in 1923, announced in an advertisement that shares from 420 shareholders would be transferred to a special trust, because they were unable to contact them.

But among the shareholders named were a number of prominent Jewish figures, some of whom were widely known to have died.

Publication of the names had raised fears that the club was attempting to regain shares for financial reasons. But it has now emerged that the public notice was a "legal tidying-up exercise" designed to secure Jewish ownership of the club.

Michael Freedman, one of the club's designated shareholders, said: "The purpose of the trust is to make sure the Jewish traditions of the club are adhered to, which means we are not open on Friday nights, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. "

Moor Allerton has around 600 members, but only 40 per cent are Jewish. Last year members voted to run minor tournaments on Saturdays and to allow bread into the club during Passover, breaking with previous traditions.

    Last updated: 10:10am, December 31 2010