Club owner Sally Haygarth believes that her ongoing programme of investment, which has totalled £1.5m over the last five years, is transforming both the courses at the progressive West Sussex club.
Since taking over the reins of the Hunston club in November 1999, Sally Haygarth has masterminded the overhaul of the club’s two golf courses – the Cathedral and the Tower – and put them firmly on the region’s golfing map.
“We’ve spent a lot of money in the last five years,” she said “and helped Chichester shake off its ‘farmer’s field’ image, and it’s part of an ongoing investment with the whole focus on the courses.
“We want golfers to come and see us and see how the courses have changed – perhaps people who have played at Chichester before but haven’t played for a while, or people who have played at Chichester in the past but have never returned. A lot has happened at Chichester Golf Club over the last five years and it is a totally different experience.”
The main investment has occurred on the star Cathedral course with an upgraded immigration system, the remodelling of the fifth, seventh and eighth holes, over-seeding and intensive work on the fairways. Ten thousand trees have also been planted on the two courses during the past five years. The greens at Chichester are built to USGA specification and winter tees and greens are never used.
“A lot of work and money has gone into developing the Cathedral course and it is now in great condition. It really shows how far the course has come,” said Haygarth. “We remodelled three holes on the Cathedral course recently to make them more playable and the result is a fairer test of golf. It’s resulted in a more pleasant round of golf for the 22-handicap golfers but it’s made no discernible difference to the lower handicap golfers. It’s a great test of golf and a great place to play.”
Chichester Golf Club www.chichestergolf.com