Toro distributor Lely UK and local dealer AT Oliver & Sons have been working closely with The Grove to ensure the Hertfordshire course looks its absolute best for The American Express World Golf Championship which will be played at The Grove from 28th September to 1st October 2006.
It will be the first time the United Kingdom has hosted one of the World Golf Championships since the series of top class global events was inaugurated in 1999. The World Golf Championship brings the top 50 players from around the World to compete for an 8 million dollar purse.
The Grove has rapidly acquired a reputation as one of the UK’s premier new golf resorts within a year of opening. Ken Schofield, executive director of The European Tour, said, “The International Federation of PGA Tours is delighted that the 2006 WGC – American Express Championship will be hosted by one of the UK’s most outstanding new venues. The Grove has already received significant international acclaim in a very short space of time since opening for business in 2003 and we look forward to a truly world class field assembling at this splendid setting in the heart of the Hertfordshire countryside.”
For course manager Phillip Chiverton, the event has been a major focus for the past year and a half. The 18-hole course has seen some changes in preparation, which have included building new tees, narrowing fairway lines and changing rough lines to make the course more challenging.
“We’ve stepped up course maintenance as well, to ensure the turf is looking its very best for the competition,” explains Phil. “We’re a Toro course, and local dealer Oliver’s and Lely agreed to provide us with a wide range of additional machinery prior to and during the event to keep the course up to scratch. Plus, Oliver’s has given us two additional support staff in the workshop for a two-week period. This is a massive event for us, so Toro support is a major factor in making it a success.”
The Grove is not a member’s club but a course open to any golfer who loves the game. Playable all year round, the 7152 yard, par 72, championship course was designed by Kyle Phillips, an American who has designed courses in over 20 countries, including the highly acclaimed Kingsbarns links at St Andrews.
“With the course open to everyone and no stuffiness or silly dress restrictions,” says their website, “the ambience at The Grove is respectful and exclusive but not formal.”
The Grove www.thegrove.co.uk
Kyle Phillips www.kylephillips.com
World Golf Championships www.worldgolfchampionships.com