UK golf course operator Glendale Golf continues an exciting start to the season as the doors open to a brand new clubhouse at London’s Richmond Park Golf Course. The original Prince’s Course was opened in 1923 by HRH Prince of Wales and was heralded as a place where ‘artisans and royalty are equally welcome’.
This statement reflected the modest £3 annual membership fee at the time. The concept caught on and a further 18 holes were added in 1925 and named the Duke’s Course, after inauguration by the Duke of York.
90 years on and Richmond Park Golf Course is proving just as popular. Glendale Golf has further enhanced the 36-hole venue with a brand new £2.5m clubhouse. Located within the largest of London’s Royal Parks, the building was conceived by the architect as an elegant ‘Pavilion in the Park’ and designed to quite literally blend in with nature. A unique feature of the clubhouse is an eco-roof made entirely from acid grassland for which the Park is renowned making it quite possibly the largest continuous green roof in the capital.
Jon Dummett, Head of Golf for Glendale Managed Services, explains: “The investment into the clubhouse is part of our long-term commitment to improving the facilities at Richmond Park Golf Course. Working in conjunction with The Royal Parks, an important aspect of this project is sustainable building design and the use of renewable energy sources. For example, the veranda overlooks a large pond, which conceals an energy source. Hidden beneath the surface is an array of coiled pipes that extract energy naturally stored in the ground, which is then used to heat the building.”
The contemporary clubhouse also marks the launch of Glendale’s signature catering brand; Nineteen Bar & Kitchen. Matt De’ath, Group Catering Manager explains: “Our aim is to create a relaxing environment to enjoy breakfast, lunch or an informal meeting over dinner. What sets Glendale Golf apart from the rest is our dedication to serving the highest quality food and drink and Nineteen Bar & Kitchen at RichmondPark sets a new standard.”
The clubhouse is open-plan with a coffee shop, golf shop, restaurant and bar under one roof. Floor to ceiling glazing provides uninterrupted views of the two 18-hole golf courses, against a backdrop of 2500 acres of spectacular parkland and an abundance of native wildlife, including the Park’s resident herds of deer.
Jon Dummett adds: “Whilst the new clubhouse has been the focus of the project, we are also making improvements to the layout and drainage of both courses, which includes reconstruction of several holes. We’ve achieved this whilst considering the original characteristics of the 1923 Hawtree design. The opening of a 20-bay driving range and academy course will follow at the end of the year and the completed project is set to make Richmond Park Golf Course the best pay & play golf destination in Europe.”
The Royal Parks provide extensive opportunities for enjoyment, exploration and healthy living in the heart of the UK’s bustling capital. The improvements to the golf facilities compliment other sporting activities in the Park including cycling, fishing, horse riding and rugby. A junior golf academy programme will help make the game more accessible for youngsters. There’s even a free membership available called LoyalTee, which includes a 2-for-1 Green Fee Voucher and other benefits.
This investment by Glendale Golf has already gained much positive attention – the Professional Golfers’ Association has chosen Richmond Park Golf Course to be the host venue for this year’s PGA Surrey Open and Pro-Am on 22-24 July, which past champions include Neil Coles MBE. Following this prestigious event, Glendale Golf is planning an official launch weekend to coincide with the club’s 90th anniversary in August. The activity-packed weekend will feature a family open day and invitational golf tournament.
Golfers keen to sample the new facilities at RichmondPark can take advantage of a great value fourball offer from Glendale Golf. The ‘Fantastic Fore’ deal includes bacon rolls, coffee and 18-holes for just £17.50pp midweek and £20pp weekends. For more information or to book visit www.glendalegolf.co.uk or call 0208 876 3205.