Ipswich Golf Club General Manager Neill Ellice is retiring from his position after 18 years at the club.
The 67-year-old’s retirement is perfectly timed as his last major project as GM is now completed following a full bunker refurbishment (top picture) of the Purdis Heath Course – ranked among the top 100 in England.
Having embarked on the renovations in 2014, the multi-phase project to restore the course’s famed bunkers to their original state has now been signed off, just in time for Ellice to close his office door for the final time.
“It has been a wonderful 18 years in the hot seat and it will be an emotional day when I finally leave the office for the last time,” said Ellice, who joined the club initially as Club Secretary having taken early retirement from Barclays Bank after 31 years of service.
Ellice’s retirement has prompted a management restructure which will see Kevin Lovelock, the club’s PGA Professional for the last decade, take over the golf side of things as he becomes the club’s first Director of Golf. The administration and financial tasks will be taken care of by a yet to be appointed Finance & Admin Manager.
While there has been plenty going on off the course there has been a buzz of activity on the course too, with the greenkeeping staff working on a rolling course management plan, involving extensive tree management.
Ellice said: “The tree management is being completed under the supervision of Natural England through its Environmental Stewardship scheme, aimed at restoration of lowland heath, fen and reedbeds. In addition to the environmental enhancements to the site, away from the playing areas, the benefits to the golf course from this work has seen us rise to number 49 in the National Club Golfer rankings of England’s Top 100 Courses.”
“To be moving up the rankings is a tremendous feeling and we hope that encourages new members and visitors alike.”
The club is also going through the process of repairing all the paths around the course, which will be completed by early May.
Ipswich Golf Club www.ipswichgolfclub.com.