Pin High Golf Group, the golf & Leisure management consultants and club operators, have signed a management consultancy agreement with Canterbury Golf Club.
The Harry Colt designed course opened in 1927 and is a member-owned club. It recently took up an option to purchase the freehold from the landowners, the Ministry of Defence, who are looking to close down the nearby army barracks.
Paul Blake, President of Canterbury Golf Club, said: “After years of trying to buy the freehold from the MOD, we were quite surprised when last year the MOD informed us, out of the blue, that we could now buy it.
“Obviously we wanted to make the move”, he continued, “but we knew that we needed to be a bit more commercially-minded if we were going to invest a large amount of money in the freehold”.
Pin High Golf Group were approached initially to give an appraisal of the club and were asked to highlight the areas were the club could improve both operationally and commercially.
Blake commented further: “We were impressed by Pin High’s honesty and by their confidence in their ability to improve the club in so many areas whilst retaining the ethos of a member-driven club.
“In the end it was an easy decision to appoint Pin High. As their recommendations saved us so much money, their fee was covered almost immediately”.
Tony Healy, Managing Director of Pin High, commented: “It is a tremendous privilege for us to be working with a great club such as Canterbury, and also to have the opportunity to help such a well-known members’ club become more commercially-minded”.
When asked about Canterbury Golf Club Roger Hyder, Operations Director for Pin High, said: “Our recommendations were quite simple really. The future lies in getting the club back to being one of the premier clubs in the south east. Mind you, it does help when you have a classic Harry Colt-designed golf course and a club with its own 23-bay floodlit driving range”.
Pin High’s work has already commenced with the introduction of an Associate Membership where golfers can join the club for just £395, get a handicap, play in competitions, book tee times and have 7-day access to the golf course.
Canterbury GC has always had a strong and competitive membership, but this has not stopped the club from introducing this new membership category in an attempt to fit in with the modern-day lifestyle, with its continuous demands on a golfer’s free time.
Hyder said: “We believe this type of membership is the future of golf club membership in this country. It is designed specifically for those golfers who want to belong to a club, get a handicap and play in competitions but without the commitment of a traditional style of membership.
“With refurbishment work starting on the clubhouse in the next few months, we believe that the course and clubhouse renovations along with the introduction of the Associate Membership all make Canterbury Golf Club a very exciting place to be a member”.
Pin High Golf Group currently work with Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire; Maylands Golf Club in Essex; Stafford Castle Golf Club; Sport England; and now Canterbury Golf Club.
Canterbury GC www.canterburygolfclub.co.uk