St Mellion’s new Resort General Manager, Tim Howell, is putting the award-winning venue’s classic golfing heritage at the heart of his plans.
The 53-year-old leisure industry expert arrives in Cornwall after a series of high-profile roles including a period as Chief Executive of the Liberty Stadium, home to Premier League football club Swansea City and Guinness PRO12 rugby union team Ospreys.
“St Mellion’s Nicklaus Signature Course is one of the toughest, most spectacular golf courses in the UK” said Tim Howell, “and nowadays we have a superb four-star resort to match it. For golfers it’s one of Europe’s must-play venues.”
In 2009 the resort, which is the flagship venue of Crown Golf – the UK’s largest owner and operator of golf clubs – opened a new 80-bedroom landmark hotel which was subsequently named “Best Large Hotel” in the 2011 Cornwall Tourism Awards. St Mellion International Resort has also frequently been named ‘Best in the West’ in golf magazine reader polls.
“St Mellion is first and foremost a golf resort, where superb facilities are matched by first-class hospitality and service” said Tim Howell. “My primary focus will be to work with the wonderful team here to ensure that our loyal members and the guests who visit us from around the world enjoy the best experience that the South West can offer.”
In 2018, the Nicklaus Signature Course will celebrate thirty years since a dream fourball – Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle – formally opened the course in a challenge match (which the British won).
On its 21st anniversary in 2009, Golf World magazine voted The Nicklaus into its coveted Britain’s Top 100 Golf Courses list, and Jack Nicklaus himself wrote a personal letter to St Mellion members, saying: “I am very proud of what we were able to create at St Mellion. Hole for hole it is a great golf course and a very strong test of golf.”
“We have already started planning next year’s 30th anniversary of the Nicklaus course” said Tim Howell, who began his new role at St Mellion in mid-March, “but before then I have plenty to learn about our other 18-hole championship course, The Kernow, plus our AA 4-Star hotel, our day spa, our health and fitness club, our restaurants and of course our members and staff, who breathe life into the resort each day.”
He enjoys playing football, squash and skiing, but Tim Howell admits that his golf game needs work, particularly at the home of the mighty Nicklaus course at St Mellion. “I’m looking forward to polishing my game with one of the professionals at our famous St Mellion Academy, UK home to the Tournament Golf College.”
On St Mellion’s Cornwall location, Howell said: “St Mellion International Resort will always be immensely proud of its Cornish roots. We are a significant local employer, we use local products and suppliers wherever possible, and we play a large role in the local community.”
On being Crown Golf’s flagship venue, he said: “Our members truly enjoy being able to play golf at the group’s other clubs as part of their membership, and we frequently welcome members from other Crown Golf clubs here ourselves” he said. “Under my stewardship St Mellion will continue to innovate and play a leading role both in the Crown Golf group and also in the wider golf market.
“I hope to bring some refreshing new ideas to the dynamic team here at St Mellion, as we combine our talents to make this stunning resort even better than it is already.”
St Mellion International Resort www.st-mellion.co.uk