Huge investment for The Nottinghamshire
The Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club has become the latest golf facility to invest heavily in itself.
The club, which in the past five years, has spent £1 million on upgrading its courses and £2 million on a new hotel among other projects such as creating a pitch-and-putt area, has now spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on a new academy. It also has planning permission to build a £150,000 extension to the driving range.
In a sign that the industry is in recovery following years of tightened budgets, a number of clubs either are or have stated that they will improve what they offer. For example, Celtic Manor Resort in Wales has said it is prepared to invest in a new £80 million international convention centre, Birchwood Park Golf and Country Club in Kent has benefited from a £5 million spend to transform its health and fitness area, Oulton Hall in Yorkshire has undergone a £1.1 million upgrade, The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort in Scotland has spent £500,000 on a renovation and expansion of its spa and leisure facilities, Essendon Country Club in Hertfordshire has built a new state-of-the-art short-game facility, Highwoods Golf Club in Sussex has opened a fitness room, Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland is investing in its course and adding a swimming pool and The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club has opened a 56-bedroom hotel.
In total the 36-hole Nottinghamshire is spending £4.5 million, partly on launching a new golf academy, which it hopes will attract new members.
The club has hired Peter Lockley, formerly high performance director of the Irish Ladies Golf Union to lead the new centre as director of The Nottinghamshire Golf Academy.
He said: “There’s a fantastic clubhouse and the golf course has been improved dramatically.
“The intention is for it to be the top venue in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands to play golf and my remit for the academy is to make it the top place to come and learn golf.
“As a result, that will attract more people to come here as we’re trying to reach out quite considerably into Nottinghamshire.”
The academy will use existing facilities but members will be able to play on a dedicated course – a shorter version set within the club’s signature course that uses different tees – as part of a pathway programme containing a curriculum that aims to offer end results.
It will be run by five coaches, with another joining in the spring. Costs range from £99 for a two-month deal, including access to the signature course, to £599 for 12 months.
Mr Lockley said: “I want to create a comprehensive structure that is tailored to individual needs. There are very serious top amateurs who train hard and expect a hi-tech experience, and they’re also looking for fitness and psychology.
“At the other end of the scale there are players who want simple advice to improve their game.
“So we’re putting together a package that ticks all boxes from beginners to top amateurs.”
Bill Mackenzie, managing director of The Nottinghamshire, said: “We’ve invested in the club, course and facilities – and now in the whole idea of getting people into golf.
“We want to be seen as the place to come and play golf, whether you’re a beginner or brilliant at it, and rated as one of the best around.”