Established in 1987, Lingfield Park Golf Club is set amongst 200 acres of breathtaking Surrey parkland at Lingfield Park Racecourse, ideally located just 15 minutes from Gatwick.
Ron Muddle bought Lingfield Park from Ladbrokes in 1982 and a few years later started to build the golf course. The course was quickly very popular as it took advantage of the lack of open golf courses in the area. The course originally opened with just 13 holes, and has developed substantially since its early days. The course is now a challenging 18 hole, par 72 with a standard scratch of 72, measuring 6511 yards. Mature trees, streams and lakes make for excellent golfing in this most pleasant of golfing locations; the course has only gentle undulations and buggies are allowed for most of the year, so it is ideal for all levels of golfer, and importantly, all ages. The Surrey PGA Open was also held here for three consecutive years along with the Euro Pro Tour in 2011 and 2012.
The Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club opened in May 2010, with a new clubhouse, pro shop, changing facilities and golf lounge for the members and hotel guests. Other enhancements to the course and club included a new state-of-the-art academy area, including a split level putting green, bunkers, chipping area as well as an open driving range with plenty of capacity for those wishing to warm up before play, or work on their game. There is also a Dryrainge, which allows the teaching staff to keep a full calendar, regardless of the weather.
Chris Morley is the Director of Golf at Lingfield Park and has been associated with the complex since 1993; at the time, he was running the Pease Pottage Golf Range, and three other retail shops. Over the next few years, he sold his interests in these other businesses to focus purely on Lingfield Park. In the shop, he has two assistants, both keen golfers: Luke Martin playing off 3 and Sam Perry, a 12 handicapper. The teaching is provided by two professionals - Luke Ringrose and Mark Richecoeur, while Chris attends to all of the golfing requirements at the centre, including golf days and corporate functions.
Chris spoke to GRN-OGRO: “I hugely enjoy my role, as it is very varied and interesting, and allows me to encourage golfers of all abilities to come and use the fabulous facilities here at Lingfield Park. Unlike many golf courses based at a race track, we are open for business on all race days, and in fact these are our busiest days, with many of our customers wishing to both golf and attend the races.”
In the 1890’s, the racecourse was opened - as is fitting for the sport of kings - by the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VII). King Edward VII even graciously allowed Lingfield Park to incorporate the Prince of Wales feathers in its official logo. Racing has continued at Lingfield Park ever since, with the only break coming during World War II, when it was used as a Prisoner of War Internment Camp for Italians. The Home Guard used the home straight for practice marching and attack manoeuvres. The all-weather track was first used in 1989 to allow racing throughout the calendar, and it has since been upgraded to a premier specification. The Marriott Hotel & Country Club is set in the unique location in the grounds of Lingfield Park Race Course. It has magnificent views over the racecourse, the golf course, and the surrounding countryside, and it is the perfect opportunity for guests to mix business and pleasure.
There are 116 luxurious bedrooms, a modern spa, with all of the latest treatments and packages that you would expect at a five star facility. It is a superb venue for weddings, conferences and events. The conference facilities can accommodate for events of up to 450 delegates, and the banqueting team are equally adept at handling the requirements for couples marrying, as for large company meetings. The venue is regularly used for trade fairs, product launches, exhibitions, dinner dances and private parties of all sorts. In recent years there have been a number of concerts, which bring racing and music together.
Sir Henry Cooper was a great supporter of Lingfield Park, holding the position of Patron of the Golf Club for over 20 years, and opened the new golf academy two years ago. He also opened the newly refurbished grandstand on the racecourse in 2003, with a plaque inscribed with his name having pride of place inside. Sadly, Sir Henry died in May 2011, and the staff and customers at Lingfield Park still miss him today.
The complex was previously part of Arena Leisure, and is now owned by ARC -the Arena Racing Company – which is controlled by the Reuben brothers. ARC also owns two other golf courses. The Reuben brothers, following their acquisition of Arena Leisure earlier in 2012, now own Britain’s largest racecourse group, with 17 turf and all-weather racecourses in the UK. These courses account for approximately 40% of all of the UK’s racing fixtures. The turf race courses include: Doncaster, Royal Windsor, Uttoxter, Newcastle, Fontwell Park, Chepstow, Worcester, Folkstone, Sedgefield, Brighton, Bath, Great Yarmouth and Hereford. Lingfield Park, Wolverhampton and Southwell have all-weather tracks, which allow racing in almost all conditions. Lingfield is one of the busiest racetracks in the country.
For further details, contact Lingfield Park at www.lingfield-racecourse.co.uk.
© GRN-OGRO 2012