• New-look Berkhamsted reopens to visitors
One of England’s best-loved classic golf courses has reopened to visitors as pandemic restrictions continue to ease – and everyone noticed a difference from their very first tee shot.
On July 12th visitors had their first chance in 2021 to play Berkhamsted Golf Club, when the club reopened for green fees and societies.
Rated amongst England’s top 100 golf courses, Berkhamsted now starts play from what used to be the 10th tee. The club reversed its nines during last year’s lockdown – the first significant course change at Berkhamsted in almost 100 years.
Every round at Berkhamsted is now guaranteed a thrilling finish, with a challenging three-hole sequence starting on 16 and ending on the 18th green right in front of the clubhouse.
“Feedback from our members has been incredibly positive about the new course routing,” said the club’s manager, Howard Craft. “We can’t wait to hear what visitors old and new also think about it. Many golfers have been coming here for years, making a pilgrimage to play Berkhamsted, so we’re looking forward to welcoming plenty of old friends – as well as seeing a host of new faces!”
In 2021 to date, only the club’s members and their guests have been able to play the new course routing, but now visitors can take Berkhamsted’s famously bunker-free classic heathland test from just £60 per round on a Monday or a Tuesday.
Green fees rise to £75 from Wednesday to Friday and are £85 at weekends, when visitors are allowed after 11:30am.
Some of the world’s most famous golfers have competed there, with the club’s now gender-neutral Berkhamsted Trophy attracting over 100 elite golfers each April, and the club is also a well-known proving ground for talented youngsters, with Berkhamsted’s latest alumnus Alice Hewson recently making a high-profile start to her career on the Ladies European Tour.
Junior golfers pay just a £25 green fee all week at Berkhamsted, with discounts also available to Hertfordshire County Card holders and of course members’ guests.
The club is now also accepting society bookings for 2022, with only a few dates available left for large groups in 2021.
Berkhamsted Golf Club is laid out on common land in Hertfordshire’s largest expanse of natural gorse and heather, with over five miles of bridleways and pathways running throughout the golf course and its huge 560-acre estate, full of natural beauty.
Situated on a densely-wooded hilltop above the medieval market town of Berkhamsted, the golf club is situated north west of central London, close to the western boundary of Hertfordshire. Easily accessible from the A41, five miles west of Hemel Hempstead and just 15 minutes from M1 Junction 8 (St Albans), Berkhamsted’s unforgettable 18 holes are a magnet for golfing aficionados from across Great Britain, Ireland and Europe.
• Turnberry Comes Calling for Clark
Dan Clark believes he has joined “the number one leisure resort in the UK” after his appointment at Turnberry.
The 39-year-old has taken up the position of account director after more than five years at Gleneagles, and has been tasked with bringing his expertise and experience to the role with a view to capitalising on what is already a thriving MICE business.
With its host of world-class facilities – ranging from the magnificent 500-seat ballroom to more intimate settings – Turnberry is already a compelling choice for meetings, conferences and events at a spectacular location and with a wealth of activities to choose from.
Clark said: “It’s a huge source of pride for me – I can’t wait to get started and to bring all of my experience to the role.
“Predominantly, it will be MICE-focused, working with groups, the direct corporate and agency market. But I will also be working with the luxury leisure operators and golf tour operators.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to progress my career at a resort which I believe is the number one in the UK. It’s got so much going for it in terms of golf, activities, service standards and facilities for all types of visitors and especially the incentive market.
“The location and views are spectacular and there so much more on offer, as well as the extra prestige of the golf courses at Turnberry.”
Clark, who has also previously held roles with Elite Hotels, Radisson Edwardian Hotels and Gleneagles, has noted a shift in customer requirements in the wake of the pandemic but is starting to notice more green shoots appearing with more group requests as the Ayrshire resort prepares to welcome increasing numbers of UK guests during the peak summer months again this year.
He said: “COVID safety is vital to everyone and at Turnberry, that is taken extremely seriously. There is definitely still huge appetite out there and it’s a real opportunity to make an impact at a world-class resort.”
The five-star experience is an unforgettable one at Turnberry. The new Turnberry Spa has undergone a £4m transformation, while 800 acres of Scotland’s inspiring landscape awaits for visitors who can try their hands at archery, air rifles, clay shooting, kayaking, kite surfing, quad biking or mountain biking to get the heart pumping and to create some unforgettable memories for adults and children alike.
Alongside Turnberry’s two exceptional 18-hole golf courses – the Ailsa and King Robert the Bruce – there is also the outstanding nine-hole Arran course and also an opportunity for beginners to try their hand at the sport for the first time with pitch and putt or a round on the putting green.
Five memorable dining experiences all add to the attraction with local Scottish produce in the dining venues, from the signature restaurant 1906, a unique Chef’s Table experience, the elegant Grand Tea Lounge and Bar serving a tantalising Afternoon Tea and the Duel in the Sun restaurant.
Situated an hour from Glasgow, 90 minutes from Edinburgh, there is plenty of accommodation options too with its five-star hotel, cosy self-catering cottages and spacious eight-bedroom villas.
For more information, go to: www.trumphotels.com/turnberry
A video explaining more about the Festival of Turf is available to watch and embed on YouTube.