Work has started on building a new state-of-the-art driving range and short game area at the popular Essendon Country Club near Welwyn Garden City.
The project is the latest phase of an ambitious long-term plan to transform the 45-hole complex into one of Hertfordshire’s premier golf facilities and is expected to be completed by August.
Essendon Country Club started life as Hatfield London Golf Club back in the 1970s but was renamed last year after it was bought by two well-known local entrepreneurs, Kieran and Liam Griffin, who live on the site and at the time owned Addison Lee, London’s largest minicab company.
The club features two 18-hole courses, a 9-hole pitch and putt and an elegant clubhouse built around an original 16th century barn. It had a low number of members when the Griffin brothers purchased it but the success of the initial phase of the redevelopment project has attracted 150 new members and more are expected to join as the facilities are upgraded further.
“The new practice ground is the latest phase in our long term plan to turn Essendon into Hertfordshire’s most popular family golf club,” said Kieran. “We have already done a great deal of work upgrading both the Old and the New courses and that will continue as time goes on. We have also set out to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the club and it seems to have struck a chord with both members and visitors alike.”
“Membership is up by 70% over the last six months and green fee business has increased by 50% so we’re clearly on the right track,” he added.
Essendon Country Club is one of the few clubs in Hertfordshire to seen its membership and green fee business increase during the last 12 months.
Its 6,808-yard Old course was designed by renowned golf course architect, Fred Hawtree, and opened for play in 1976 while the 6,938-yard New Course is the work of the Landscape Design Company and was opened in 1992.
The new owners have recently begun an extensive renovation programme to improve the greens and drainage on both courses. The Old has also been enhanced by an extensive woodland management programme aimed at bringing the course back to the way Hawtree originally wanted it to be played.
Essendon Country Club is situated in a picturesque 400-acre estate on the outskirts of the village of Essendon and close to the A1000 between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford. It is ideally located for easy access to the M25, M1, A1 and A10 and is just 25 miles north of the centre of London.
Essendon Country Club http://essendoncc.co.uk