In 2013 Feldon Valley GC (Brailes Golf Club as it was then known) was struggling in the market place, both as a facility and as a business. The Club had lost members year on year and was down to under 200 paying annual subscriptions. The golf course had become known for being unplayable in the winter and there were tell-tale signs everywhere of being underfunded.
However, in November 2013 The Club was sold and since then it has been all change. 360 Golf Ltd was appointed by the new owner with the remit to turn things around and create a successful and profitable facility.
The early focus was on improving the facility/product. This started with the golf course – major drainage programs were carried out in carefully considered phases: the Greenkeeping team was optimised from 2 to 6; a detailed course improvement plan was designed and delivered; the greenkeepers sheds, which were not fit for purpose, were replaced by a modern, spacious and well-designed new building and the cutting fleet was replaced and updated. The result of this investment and improvement program was a dramatically improved golf course, a membership that doubled in size, visitor and society business increasing year on year and a facility that the members are now proud of. However, this was just the start…
The latest chapter of the plan to maximise the potential of Feldon Valley, is taking place now – this includes a complete remodelling of the clubhouse, the building of 29 bedrooms of lodge accommodation and the development of an ecology island. The accommodation will consist of 5 self-contained lodges that are secluded by the woods, with stunning views over the course, a short walk from the clubhouse.
The ecology island is replacing the old green-keeper sheds and grounds, which sit on the banks of Sutton Brook. This will include a turf nursery as well as vegetable and herb gardens, fruit orchards and beehives, the produce of which will supply the kitchen with daily seasonal ingredients.
The clubhouse is being extended and balconies added to make the very best of the wonderful views across the first and eighteenth holes out towards the Cotswolds beyond. The bar area will be open plan and spacious offering “golfers’ foods”, throughout the day.
A new restaurant, “The Kitchen” will open with a “top chef” at Feldon Valley in late spring offering “delicious, fresh & local food” to local residents, golfers, and lodge guests alike.
The Clubhouse is on schedule to reopen for business in Spring 2018. The changes will maximise the spectacular views of the valley and has been designed and will be operated to appeal to golfers, locals, visitors and overnight guests.
With such major works, 360 Golf has managed the disruption to have minimal effect on the members and business. The main construction project started in early April 2017 and a temporary clubhouse is currently in place. Throughout the process, the business has continued to thrive with members and visitors enjoying “business as usual”.
“The temporary club house is lovely; the golf course keeps getting better and we can’t wait to use the new facilities – the disruption is being well managed and is a small price to pay for the wonderful new facilities we will be using next year” said Carol Overton a member who joined two years ago.
Robert Clive, operations director of 360 Golf, said “this is a very exciting and challenging project, our priority four years ago was to improve the golf course and stabilise the business. With that now successfully achieved and the addition of over 180 new members, we are building wonderful facilities for all our customers, whilst continuing to invest in the golf course”
The current team at Feldon Valley of 16 will grow to over 40, providing local employment for the area, with the recruitment of receptionists, waiting staff, chefs, housekeepers, gardeners, maintenance and bookkeepers.
Feldon Valley Golf Club www.feldonvalley.co.uk
360 Golf www.360golf.co.uk