Oak Park Golf Club has appointed former Ladies European Tour pro golfer Sarah Heath as its new General Manager.
The 32 year old from Shropshire joins the club from nearby Pine Ridge GC, pledging to make Oak Park the most desirable members’ club in the area, and to boost the amount of female golfers playing at the Crondall, Farnham club.
Heath is one of a growing number of women to run golf clubs in England. “I feel ready for the challenge” she said. “The members here have already been incredibly welcoming – Oak Park is such a friendly club. The staff have been great too, and I’m looking to getting to know the place as we approach Christmas”.
With both parents being golfers and former Club Captains in her home town of Telford, and a brother who was a PGA golf coach, it was no surprise when Heath turned professional at the age of 20 to try her luck on Tour.
With ten Top 20 finishes on Tour, including a 3rd in the South African Masters, the new boss – who is still a professional golfer – will be a formidable opponent when she plays in the Oak Park captain’s charity day.
“Playing on Tour gives you a certain mental strength which is useful in business” she said. “You’ve got to trust your preparation, and bounce back quickly if things don’t go to plan.
“But although I’ve played against tough opponents like Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb, I am sure that the members and visitors at Oak Park will throw me some of their own unique challenges!”
Heath joins Oak Park after working previously at Ryder Cup venue The Belfry, and latterly Pine Ridge in Camberley – which like Oak Park is also part of the Crown Golf group, the UK’s biggest chain of golf clubs. “We love to develop and promote from within” said Stephen Towers, the group’s Chief Operating Officer. “Sarah is a dynamic and very capable young manager and I’m delighted to be able to offer her this opportunity. Oak Park is a great place for her first manager’s job – it is a beautiful golf club with two great courses, a friendly clubhouse, and it always has a super atmosphere.
“I think that Oak Park customers will find her extremely enthusiastic, passionate and determined to make it an even better place to spend your leisure time. Also, Sarah is naturally well placed to encourage more women to join and play at the club, and this is one of our biggest goals for the year ahead”.
Heath, who lists Seve Ballesteros, Kate Middleton and Peter Kay as her three ideal dinner guests, promises a lively atmosphere at Oak Park this winter. “Nobody should be afraid to visit a golf club, least of all ladies or beginners. They’ll find we are incredibly welcoming to everybody, and the club is just as much about the social side of life, as it is about sport”.
Oak Park Golf Club www.oakparkgolf.co.uk