A MASTERS champion golfer has spoken of his “disappointment” at a council’s decision to sell off a course he frequented as a child.

On Monday, Anglesey council announced that it will sell off the nine-hole course in Llangefni because it was losing money.

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters Champion, spent many childhood holidays on the island, revealing that regular visits to the pay as you play golf course had played a “key role” in his development as a professional golfer.

A spokesman for the Sheffield-born pro expressed Willett’s unhappiness over the news, saying: “Danny is extremely disappointed to hear the news of Llangefni’s imminent closure.

“It’s a course he grew up playing on family holidays as a child and he had very fond memories of the place. It’s a real shame.”

In an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield in 2015, Willett, 30, said: “We used to go to Anglesey in Wales for two weeks in the summer and play the same nine-hole golf course three or four times.

“I think the longest club you hit was probably a seven iron on this par three course in the middle of a sheep field.”

Shortly after his Masters win, Willett returned to Llangefni to show support for keeping the course open and wrote to the council’s chief executive.

Social enterprise group Partneriaeth Llangefni have been running the course since 2015, under a lease agreement with the authority.

But a report presented to the council’s executive on Monday maintained that an extension to this agreement was “not sustainable” and that a final decision on its future was needed.

Despite this, the authority has promised to reinvest the proceeds of the 42-acre site’s sale in leisure facilities and the opening of a new soft play area for children and families at Llangefni’s Plas Arthur leisure centre.

The on-site driving range will stay open, with the council seeking outside groups to take it over.

Leisure portfolio holder Cllr Carwyn Jones said: “Although we are scaling down the council-owned golf provision, ring-fencing the capital receipt to strengthen the future leisure provision on Anglesey is extremely positive.

“I am also very aware there are fantastic golf courses across Anglesey as it is, and would encourage people to support these.

“In reaching this difficult decision, we were very conscious of the fact that generations of golfers first started playing the sport in Llangefni.”

“We want those links to remain and hope to keep the driving range, a unique asset, for public use.

“The driving range, shop, outbuildings, car-park and small practice area will be retained to create a smaller 9.34 acre golfing provision to support those who want to start playing the game or practice.

“Our aim is to actively seek a delivery partner to manage and operate a smaller golfing facility in Llangefni.

“We very much hope that there will be interest in running the facility as an important community asset.”