Allerton Manor Golf Club has appointed renowned resort hotelier Marc Smith as their Managing Director, teaming him up once more with the previous owner operators of Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa.
Marc heads up the team following noted roles with De Vere Hotels and more recently Regional General Manager at Macdonald Hotels with responsibility for their exclusive Hill Valley and Portal Golf Resorts which boasted 5 golf courses, 160 bedrooms and multiple, award winning food & beverage offerings. Prior to this he spent four years as General Manager at the privately-owned Formby Hall.
To Smith, the timing was perfect to join up with Green Circle Estates Director, Michael Hanlon who spoke of his continued commitment in taking the Allerton Manor Estate to the next level. Key senior appointments to deliver this vision come with the valuable addition of General Manager, Craig Coley and Sales & Marketing Director, Helen Bamford.
Allerton Manor is a hidden treasure tucked away in the leafy suburban haven of Allerton, South Liverpool. An estate steeped in local history and brimming with promise is home to Allerton Park Municipal golf course, a well-loved local gem of well-trodden fairways, the boyhood playground of many aspiring golfers and even the site of a photo shoot for four floppy-haired local lads in the swinging sixties.
Fallen past its prime after many years of under-investment and neglect, Allerton Park suffered as local competitors surged forward, developing facilities and hospitality venues which left Allerton seemingly in the history of yester-year. The Clubhouse sat woefully unloved, the condition of the course began to slip, and apart from loyal season ticket holders, Allerton Park failed to ignite the interest of the booming locale of South Liverpool.
The decision by Liverpool City Council to divest its loss-making operational assets, created an exciting golf and leisure opportunity with the ability to breathe life back into the city’s municipal golf courses. Green Circle Estates, part of the team of masterminds behind Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, were enlisted to become the city’s official golf operating partner, and a reinvention process began.
Reborn Allerton Manor Golf Club in November 2015, the new operators (as Allerton Golf Trading Ltd) set about a transformation of the club and its facilities in coalition with the City Council. They did so with a clear mission in mind; providing an accessible and affordable golf offering true to the course’s Pay and Play roots but with the kind of facilities and standards expected at a private members’ golf club.
A program of significant investment was launched across the estate in an effort to bring this vision to reality. The first phase of developments saw the Grade II listed Clubhouse totally reimagined, instating a ground floor restaurant, The Old Stables. A contemporary casual dining experience, with sky lights beaming daylight into the airy and stylish dining room, The Old Stables offers a delicious menu of home comfort style dishes, locally sourced and lovingly prepared by an experienced kitchen team headed up by the vastly experienced local Executive Head Chef Phil Daley. Open to all, The Old Stables has provided destination dining in the heart of South Liverpool, with something for everyone – whether it’s a locally sourced sausage butty after 18 holes, a leisurely brunch, a family gathering or their aptly named Sunday Best with loved ones. With a heated terrace that can accommodate up to 100 guests, The Old Stables is exactly what the residents of South Liverpool and beyond have been waiting for.
Next came the long overdue works on the parkland course itself; improving tees, greens and fairways and investing heavily in state of the art TORO greenkeeping machinery. Allerton Golf Trading Ltd enlisted the expertise of IDG (International Design Group), PGA affiliated Golf Architects with a résumé that comprises numerous first-class golf courses around the world, including the golfing hubs of Dubai, USA and Asia.
Allerton Manor is the first municipal golf course in the UK to undergo this kind of high level refurbishment and now benefits from the completion of the first phase of works to include new championship tees, reshaping of fairways and two new revetted bunkers either side of the signature 8th green. Facilities were also upgraded, to include stylish new changing facilities and washrooms. Ideal for everyone from beginners right through to more experienced golfers. Adding experience and knowledge to this improving golf offering came with the appointment of 2 golfing heavyweights – Director of Golf, Bryan Joelson-Mulhall and Head Greenkeeper, Andy Whyman.
So what was next for the estate that has already undergone such a transformation?
The Hay Loft, a luxury private function space, bar, lounge and terrace opened recently on the first floor. Perfect for weddings, christenings and celebrations of every kind, with an exclusive entrance and exit, high end design concept and a winding driveway which will leave visitors suitably impressed. An elevated terrace overlooking the 18th green is the perfect spot to take in a beautiful South Liverpudlian sunset over a chilled glass of wine.
The vision doesn’t end there, work has already started on Fletchers Sports Bar which will occupy a magnificent space on the ground floor of the Grade II listed Manor House, once the 19th Century home of the affluent Fletcher family, famed locally for their successes in the shipping industries.
Following years of dilapidation, and a devastating fire in 1944, this stunning structure will certainly be lost forever without the proposed investment in the property. Maintaining the beautiful Gothic exterior colonnades, the Manor House plans are just as exciting, stunningly reinvented as a boutique hotel and wedding venue, with a luxury spa nestled in its basement which boasts original vaulted ceilings and memories of 19th century grandeur.
Further improvement works will take place on the golf course too, with plans coming this winter to extend it to become a lengthened Par 72 Championship course. The addition of a golfing pavilion with dedicated training facilities, shop, café and function room will overlook the proposed Adventure Golf course to the site, uniting golf, leisure and dining to create a destination leisure resort for men, women and families of all ages to enjoy.
Holding fast to the ethos that sits at the heart of Allerton Manor, both its present-day manifestation and plans to continue the development of the estate maintain a focus on providing an affordable and accessible, yet aspirational resort for leisure, golfers and the local community alike. With the luxe finish and impeccable standards of a private Members’ club. At Allerton Manor, there really is something for everyone.
Allerton Manor Golf Club https://www.allertonmanorgolfclub.com/