There is a spring in the step of the staff and members at Sapey Golf and Country Club in Worcestershire after a series of investments in the club’s on- and off-course facilities have brought about a dramatic transformation of a club that was threatened with closure just two years ago.
The club’s Rowan Course is playing its best for years thanks to the expertise of Course Manager Kevin Booth and capital investment from Wyldecrest Golf and Leisure – resulting in a surge of new members for the new season.
“A full programme of greens management has been followed in the last year, and is now really beginning to pay dividends,” said Booth. “We sit on clay, so I have concentrated on ensuring that the course and especially the greens drain well. We have also spent the winter refurbishing all our machinery, so it will be fit for purpose and last for years to come.”
This was evident at the club’s season-opening competition held on April 13, where 108 competitors vied for the Alfie Best Open AM/AM Trophy, which was won by Dean Corbett, Steve Trafford, Alex Whitty and Bill James.
General Manager Cheryl Waring said: “Kevin has only been here a short while, but his impact has been immense. Returning visitors are astounded with the condition of the course now, and the result is that our membership is swelling almost by the day. In less than two years our net membership has grown by 69% and we have built a strong intermediate section approaching 50 members, which is so crucial for future success. It is all very encouraging.”
The club has also had investment, with the addition of a state of the art GCQuad golf simulator, the doubling in the size of the balcony overlooking the 18th green, and the addition of three luxury lodges, complete with hot tubs. More lodges are planned in the next 12 months to encourage societies to play and stay at Sapey, and also provide a beautiful location for get-togethers and romantic minibreaks to ensure that year round income is supplemented. “This business is typically 12 months of cost with seven months or so of revenue, so to survive golf clubs need to look to tertiary income such as accommodation, restaurant and bar and private events to ensure that they can pay the winter bills,” added Waring.
Looking to the future, Sapey Golf and Country Club is continuing its investment with a new golf pro shop due to be installed this summer and outline plans for a leisure complex, including swimming pool and gym continuing.