The 9 new major golf courses that are being built in the UK – despite the drop in golfers
Golf may be suffering from a loss of 200,000 members in England alone in the last decade, but at least nine major golf courses have either recently opened or are being built or designed at the moment.
That is the findings from a Golf Club Management survey conducted just days after England Golf launched its strategic plan to save hundreds of golf clubs that are facing financial pressures because there are too many venues for the number of golfers – which is decreasing.
The nine are Ramside Hall, Woolsington Hall, The JCB, Essington, Park of Keir, Maverston, Hoylake, Cherkley Court and West London golf clubs.
Two of the new venues are being built in the north east of England, two in Staffordshire and two in Scotland.
Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club in County Durham has now opened part of its new championship golf course, with the remaining nine holes to be opened in September.
Club director, John Adamson, said: “Our vision is for Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club to become a complete golf and leisure destination at the heart of north east England attracting members, visitors and hotel guests to enjoy golf, fitness, relaxation, fine food and beautiful surroundings.
“I’m certain the Cathedral Course will further enhance Ramside Hall’s reputation as one of the most desirable golf resorts and leisure destinations in England.”
Also in the north east, Cameron Hall in Newcastle is designing a golf course at Woolsington Hall, subject to planning approval.
This also comes as Burgham Park Golf Club in Northumberland is developing a new golf academy with teaching bays and a driving range along with other sports facilities.
In Staffordshire, JCB has been given planning approval to build its own £30 million, 18-hole, 7,150 yards, par 72 championship golf course.
Play will start on the course in 2018, when it is expected that up to 100 people will be employed in grounds care and hospitality roles. The course will be designed by European Golf Design.
“The golf course will be the biggest marketing tool available to JCB in its history, helping grow sales and create jobs. If the course were to host a major tournament, the television coverage would help put the JCB brand firmly on the world stage,” said a company spokesman.
“The new golf course will be made available mainly to JCB’s network of 770 global dealers. It will be used to drive business growth, helping to build relationships with new customers and strengthen relationships with existing customers. Upon completion, golf days will become a feature of the wider JCB visitor experience, which already includes factory visits, the ‘Story of JCB’ exhibition and machine demonstrations.”
Essington Golf Club in Staffordshire hopes to have golfers teeing off from next spring.
The 80-acre nine-hole development will include a leisure centre and clubhouse, and will create 50 full and part time jobs.
In Scotland, a golf and tennis centre and housing development proposal led by Judy Murray and Colin Montgomerie near Dunblane is going ahead, although the golf course has been scaled back from nine to six holes.
Judy Murray said: “It’s always been my aim to create a real community hub that links with local clubs and schools to grow both tennis and golf in the Stirling area which can nurture and develop Scotland’s most promising players and coaches.
“Park of Keir will make both sports more accessible and affordable for families, but especially for youngsters.”
Colin Montgomerie added: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to nurture the next generation of Scottish golf and tennis stars and I am thrilled to be involved.
“Park of Keir will benefit aspiring young Scottish sports stars and I am excited to see what we can achieve.”
In the same country, Maverston Golf Course in Scotland, featuring an 18-hole course and a nine-hole facility, opened recently.
In Liverpool, Wirral Council is hoping to announce the developer behind a new luxury golf resort featuring a five-star hotel and conference facilities in the next few weeks. It is hoped that when built the new venue will compete to host a future Ryder Cup.
In Surrey, a £30 million Tom Watson designed golf course is to be built on Lord Beaverbrook’s former country home, Cherkley Court, and West London Golf Centre last month opened a new full-length nine-hole course, and an adventure golf course.
There would have been a tenth golf course built, but planning permission for a major new 18-hole pay-and-play golf development on farmland at Dumbarnie Links in East Fife, Scotland has not been granted.