Hill Barn Golf Club, which was designed by Fred Hawtree and opened in 1935, has undergone a raft of improvements aimed at restoring the club to its former glories, and the positive feedback from members and visiting golfers to the club near Worthing suggests the £750,000 investment is already paying big dividends.
Hill Barn Golf Club owner Richard Haygarth, who bought the club in January 2003, said, “The golf course is being maintained to much higher standards with the aim of making it a great golf experience.
“On a number of holes at Hill Barn you are immediately faced with spectacular views across to Worthing, the English Channel and even the Isle of Wight on a clear day, and we want to use such a position as a base to produce a quality golf course for everyone who plays on it.”
The investment began in earnest as soon as Haygarth and his wife Sally, who runs the successful Chichester Golf Club, took control of the club, with a £150,000 irrigation system installed to improve immediately greens, tees and approaches in a move described as a ‘key investment’.
“For the 10 years before we bought Hill Barn the investment wasn’t there and it was losing pay-and-play golfers as well as members, said Haygarth.. “Through our investment programme we have taken steps to restore the quality which is bringing golfers back to Hill Barn Golf Club.
“Our progress has wildly surpassed expectations and I’m delighted with the way things have gone. The course and the club have improved every year since we’ve been here and we will be in great shape for next year’s 70th anniversary club celebrations.”
Further investment has included the acquisition of a cutting edge Toro fairway machine, a verti-draining tool which is attached to the back of a tractor to improve aeration and the installation of mesh beneath the surface of the mole-damaged 12th tee box.
The 1st, 16th and 18th greens have responded well to drainage work, while the club’s ongoing programme of bunker renovation, once the pride of Hill Barn, has seen a ‘significant improvement’ to the 107 bunkers on the course. The result has been a dramatic rise in the standard of the playing surfaces.
Off the course, the clubhouse has been refurbished, including an overhaul of the men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, the professional’s shop and the bar, while a purpose-built greenkeeper’s compound has been installed.
Hill Barn Golf Club www.chichestergolf.com/hill_barn_golf.asp