American Golf (UK) has acquired The Ridge Golf Club with an 18 hole course, driving range, health and fitness club and a large and modern clubhouse. The club was developed in the early 1990’s and is located near to the M20 near Maidstone in Kent. This brings to 20 the number of golf facilities operated by the company.
“This is American Golf’s first acquisition in 2000 but we expect 4 to 6 additional facilities joining the American Golf (UK) family during the year,” states Bernard Bosworth, vice-president of acquisitions for the company which is now the largest operator of clubs and courses in the UK. Most of its locations are in the south-east but the company also owns St Mellion International in Cornwall.
“The Ridge Golf Club is a perfect fit for our business and we welcome the members and regular patrons into the American Golf family,” states Geary Leathers, managing director for the group. “The Kent location will be very convenient to our cluster of nine courses in Surrey and Sussex.”
American Golf (UK) has announced that both golf course and clubhouse capital improvement projects at The Ridge will commence soon with business strategies that include growing both the golf and fitness membership and establishing the club as a pre-eminent company and society golf day venue.
Commenting on the sale Charles Greville-Heygate of Strutt & Parker incorporating William Hillary Leisure & Hotels said, “The golf club, which opened in 1993, was designed by Patrick Dawson, one of the original architects of the Ryder Cup venue, the Belfry. The 18 hole par 71 course is laid out in former apple orchards with fine views over the Weald. The large modern clubhouse also includes a well-equipped fitness centre. “This is the second good commercial golf course that we have sold within a month and it demonstrates the strength of the market for properties of this type. I believe that this gives American Golf a good opportunity to develop this existing business further by using their extensive management skills. It brings the number of courses operated by American Golf in the UK to 20.”