• BGL Grows Membership Numbers by 25% Over Five Years
Burhill Golf and Leisure (BGL) continues to go from strength to strength as the group has seen significant increases in membership revenue at its 10 venues across the UK.
Since 2015, BGL is reporting a 25% increase in membership across all categories and venues as it continues to buck the trend in an increasingly competitive market.
With many golf clubs struggling and some notable closures over the last few years, BGL has been able to reinvest in its portfolio with enhanced facilities and improved sustainability measures on and off the golf course.
Recently, the group has undertaken several key projects including a £5 million investment into brand-new health and leisure facilities at Birchwood Park Golf & Country Club and the development of a state-of-the-art Toptracer driving range at Wycombe Heights Golf Centre.
Along with investment into new and improved facilities at the venues, the group have made a concerted effort to prioritise customer service and deliver an outstanding experience to members and guests, without exception.
Customer experience measurement metric Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is based on over 6,000 responses, has risen on average across all venues from +37 to +57 since 2015, with seven venues awarded a silver medal or higher in the Customer Engagement Academy’s inaugural Customer Experience Awards for 2018.
“I am delighted with the continued success that we have achieved at each of our venues over the last few years,” commented BGL Operations Director, Guy Riggott.
“In addition to substantial investment across the group and a focused sales team driving growth at regional level, we are particularly proud of our NPS performance which has given us a close ear to the membership and ensures we offer consistent, high-quality customer experiences across the board.”
For more information on Burhill Golf and Leisure Ltd visit www.bglcompany.co.uk.
• Leadbetter’s Learning Never Stands Still
He’s enjoyed a stellar career in passing on his wisdom to a string of Major winners, but David Leadbetter insists he will never stop learning valuable lessons from others.
The 67-year-old was at Stoke Park to host the eighth edition of his coaching summit for The Leadbetter Golf Academy as around 50 golf professionals and experts from around the globe pooled their extensive knowledge on all aspects of the game across the two-day gathering.
As part of the event and an extension of his coaching methods, the Leadbetter University was launched – an online platform that uses the latest interactive training techniques to educate and train golf coaches. And Leadbetter – who has played a pivotal role in 26 Major victories and supported seven players to become the world number one – admitted his own desire to learn, remains as strong as ever.
He said: “It’s an exciting next stage to launch the Leadbetter University. I never attended university myself, so I had to create my own!
“But my philosophy is all about new ways to learn – it is not a methodology which is restricted to certain parameters. You learn by asking questions – not by getting the answers you already thought you knew. It’s happened to me often that when I thought I had the solution, I then found something else I hadn’t thought about before.
“The more questions you ask, the clearer the subject becomes. You learn from people you work with and some of them have disproved what I’d previously thought about something. If you are open-minded, you become a better coach and unless you are learning, you are going backwards – that has always intrigued me as a coach.”
Aside from his passion for golf, Leadbetter’s interest in other sports has seen him take ideas from other elite professionals, which saw former England cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, among the speakers.
Strauss, who played 100 Test matches for his country, discussed the balance of using technical analysis from his own sporting background and also delved into the make-up of an international sportsperson’s mentality during the highs and lows of his career as part of an extended Q&A with Leadbetter. The four-handicapper also took the opportunity for a practical lesson with the world-renowned coach.
In keeping with Leadbetter’s holistic approach to coaching, there were excellent and varied presentations and practical demonstrations from Andrew Nicholson on putting, David Tiberio on the importance of fitness and conditioning focused on golf-specific movement. Other presentations included biomechanics, youth development and background on Leadbetter Kids.
Leadbetter said: “It was fantastic to see so many great coaches and to share ideas and experiences. It can only help us improve in our own field of expertise.”
Tim Bamber, member education coordinator at the PGA, said: “It was a huge privilege to have attended the Leadbetter Golf Summit, to meet David himself and Andrew Strauss. So much expertise and insight was offered from all throughout the two days. The relaxed environment also allowed for everyone to share and learn in a positive way and it’s extremely exciting to see and hear about Leadbetter Golf’s plans for the future.”
For more information on Leadbetter University, visit: https://university.leadbetter.com/
• New Prince’s Images Capture Reimagined Himalayas
Prince’s Golf Club has released a stunning new selection of images of its recently reimagined Himalayas nine, following a photoshoot commissioned by the club.
The historic Sandwich club has also recently retained the internationally recognised GEO Certified® status for its outstanding sustainability measures and work supporting the community, despite a significant period of course renovation.
In 2018, Prince’s unveiled the newly-redeveloped Himalayas nine having undertaken a significant redesign by renowned international golf course architects Mackenzie & Ebert, transforming the loop into one of the finest stretches of links golf in the country.
A year on, Prince’s announced further works were underway to the Shore and Dunes nines to align all 27 holes in quality, playability and aesthetic, due to be completed in Spring 2020.
With a full winter and season to bed in the Himalayas nine has matured brilliantly, as captured in the powerful set of images by esteemed golf course photographer, Jason Livy.
The amazing landscape portfolio fully highlights the rugged turf of the south-east Kent coastline and the character of the Himalayas nine with its open sand-scrape areas and natural wetlands, which Prince’s have preserved as natural habitats for rare coastal species of flora and fauna.
Rob McGuirk, General Manager of Prince’s Golf Club, commented: “We’re extremely proud of the development of the Himalayas and these images capture the culmination of the vision that we had at the beginning of the project.
“We have always been committed to working sustainably with the environment and now especially throughout the recent period of course changes, so it makes us very proud to have achieved GEO accreditation once again.”
• La Cala Resort Celebrates 30 Years of World-Class Golf, Gastronomy and Hospitality
Situated in the foothills of the beautiful Mijas Mountains with breath-taking views of the stunning Andalusian countryside, La Cala’s superb 54-hole resort offers an idyllic rural retreat just 20 minutes from Marbella and only 30 minutes from Malaga airport. La Cala celebrated its 30th anniversary this month with a gastronomic extravaganza and party under the stars.
The event held on Friday 12th July, 2019 was attended by world-renowned golf architect Cabell B Robinson – designer of La Cala’s three championship courses – dignitaries including The Mayor of Mijas, José Antonio González Pérez, and Patricia Navarro Pérez, Managing Director of Tourism Planning, Costa del Sol.
Speaking at the event, General Director of La Cala Resort, Sean Corte-Real, paid tribute to everyone who had played a role in forging the resort’s hard-earned reputation as the benchmark for golf and hospitality in Spain. “From weddings to rounds of golf, spa treatments and hotel stays – every single guest has fuelled our drive to offer a great experience for all to enjoy.”
Corte-Real reserved special mention for FBD Hotels & Resorts, owners of La Cala from day one. He added: “Back in the 1980s FBD decided to buy a plot of land with the intention of building 54 holes with its own hotel, residential areas and the dream of being one of the largest golf resorts in Europe. Today that dream is a reality.”
The three superb championship courses at La Cala - Campo America, Campo Asia and Campo Europa - each present unique challenges and slot seamlessly into a natural, undulating backdrop of trees and flowers, rich with birds and wildlife. Designed by famous golf course architect Cabell Robinson, each 18-hole layout has been created to ensure a truly exhilarating experience. An additional 6-hole, par-3 course and world-class golf academy complete the La Cala experience.
Taylor Wimpey Spain received praise from Corte-Real for its tireless work developing the residential areas in partnership with La Cala as three new luxury residential complexes near completion – the exciting next chapter in the resort’s story. First place in the 30th anniversary golf tournament, held on the same day, was sponsored by Taylor Wimpey, the winner receiving a three-night holiday at the home of golf in St Andrews, Scotland. Additional prizes included an all-inclusive four-night stay at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, part of FBD’s growing portfolio of luxury hotels.
La Cala resort boasts accommodation of the highest standard, including a newly renovated 107-bedroom hotel, a selection of on-site properties for sale; from attractive 2-bedroom apartments to opulent 5-bedroom villas spread throughout the estate of approximately four million square metres. Residents can enjoy the luxurious spa and a selection of excellent restaurants and bars. There are also further leisure opportunities with a FIFA-standard football pitch, running circuit, gym, tennis and squash courts.
Nestled between the arresting beauty of the Sierra de Mijas Natural Park and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea, La Cala is a genuine haven of tranquillity. It’s the perfect base for exploring Andalusia and Spain’s fascinating cultural cities like Granada, Seville and Malaga.
For further information on La Cala Resort please visit www.lacala.com.