The only course designed by Nick Faldo in Britain has been sold for around £5 million. Chart Hills in Kent has been bought by Paul Gibbons, who also owns the Sandford Springs course near Newbury and made his fortune when he sold his sizeable share holding in AutoTrader magazine last year.
His accountant, Peter Hammond, said that the connection with the three times Open and Masters champion was one of the main reasons why Gibbons bought Chart Hills, the current home for the Kent Amateur Championship and a European Tour pre-qualifying event.
Chart Hills has been up for sale for most of this year but when Gibbons was initially set to buy it during the summer the deal was put on hold because of a problem over VAT.
Gibbons has recently been linked with several other courses but Hammond said: “We are more interested in quality than quantity. If the right course comes up then we may put in a bid.” Hammond added: “Chart Hills a unique course and widely held to be of the best in the country,” Hammond said. “The fact that it is the only British course designed by Faldo and a very dramatic course added to its appeal.”
Gibbons reportedly pulled out of negotiations to buy East Sussex National which was put on the market over a year ago by the Kuwaiti Investment Office for £13-15 million. The price of the 36-hole complex has come down since then but apparently not sufficiently to tempt Gibbons.