On Friday afternoon Wentworth Club announced non-debenture membership categories to be made available for all existing members alongside the proposed debenture. Wentworth Estate residents will also benefit from reduced rates both for debenture and non-debenture packages.
The latest membership update is the result of a significant number of positive and constructive meetings between member and resident representatives, the Club’s Executive Team and Mr Songhua Ni, President of Reignwood Group, as well as an extensive consultation period since October 2015.
Stephen Gibson, Chief Executive of Wentworth Club said, “For several months, we have been working to find the right solution to include as many current members as possible in the new vision for Wentworth Club. I believe that today’s update, alongside the new membership offers and enhancements we announced last month clearly show our commitment to our existing members and local Estate Residents, who are an integral part of the Club’s past and our future.”
Mr. Songhua Ni, Reignwood Group commented, “We have listened to a variety of differing interests from members and Estate Residents. We are continuing to make every effort to accommodate those, whilst focusing on our vision of making Wentworth Club the world’s premier private golf and country club.”
All 2016/17 Club year members will be eligible for this new non-debenture membership. It will mean that they continue their existing membership without the need to re-apply.
Individual categories will be: Full; Golf; Tennis & Health and House & Spa. Each of these categories will remain for perpetuity and are based on annual subscription only. The subscription set for each non-debenture category includes a contribution to capital investment. After that, annual subscriptions will rise with RPI for five years. Residents will benefit from discounted subscription and debenture fees.
Under the new membership structure the Club will be offering in the region of 900 debentures, the majority of which will be family memberships, which is set to result in more than 2,000 members. Members continuing with the new alternative option will be in addition to this number.
John Pyle, Vice Chairman of the Wentworth Residents Association, said: “After extended talks, the club’s management has listened to our concerns, enabling certain key principles to be agreed for a more inclusive membership scheme for both existing members and Wentworth residents. This does, however, remain work-in-progress as critical elements such as the annual membership fees still need to be finalised and further details of the proposals need to be considered. Nevertheless, we are pleased that the club has accepted the necessity for a non-debenture scheme, for continuity of key membership categories and for a more inclusive approach for its neighbours. Hopefully, details can be finalised in good faith so we can present a fairer proposal to the WRA’s Executive Committee and thereafter to our constituents, the residents.
“Wentworth deserves to be world class golf club and should retain that position, based on the strength of its current membership and those that love the club. We sincerely hope that that these proposals will offer a platform to rebuild this great institution for the long term interests of the Estate. We now look forward to working with the club to finalise the details of these proposals and are cautiously optimistic that we are now on the right track to agreeing solutions which are fair to all parties involved.”
Previously owned by Richard Caring, the Wentworth Club was acquired by Reignwood Investments in September 2014, whose Chairman, Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang (pictured above), founded Reignwood Group in 1984.
Reignwood Group will be investing £20 million into the Clubhouse, Tennis & Health Club and golf courses by December 2018. The first part of this upgrade will begin in June 2016, after this year’s BMW PGA Championship. Extensive work will begin on the West Course, with the project being led by Ernie Els, a resident on the Wentworth Estate and winner of Golf Designer of the Year at the World Golf Awards 2015.
Wentworth Club www.wentworthclub.com
Reignwood Group www.reignwood.com