News Roundup

Adventure Leisure set to roll out BUNKERS! brand across the UK after successful launch event

Adventure Leisure Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Burhill Golf and Leisure Ltd (BGL), launched its first BUNKERS! venue with a VIP launch night extravaganza filled with prizes and entertainment.
BUNKERS! Swansea features two spectacularly themed 12-hole courses as well as offering Electro Darts, Ping Pong, food and cocktails to create a dynamic atmosphere.
More than 300 guests, including a selection of notable VIPs from across the local community, attended the VIP launch event putting the Loco and Zoro 12-hole themed courses to the test, while enjoying a mix of retro cocktails, mouth-watering food and plenty of entertainment with music, 
The Swansea launch represents the first venue in the new BUNKERS! brand, which proprietors Adventure Leisure Limited say will be the first of many.
“We’re extremely excited with the successful introduction of BUNKERS! here in Swansea in what is our first Adventure Leisure venue to open in Wales,” commented Operations and Development Director, Andrew Scholey.
“The VIP launch night and the first few weeks of opening have created a lot of buzz and excitement in the city and we are looking forward to growing the brand across the UK, starting with another site in Cardiff which will open later this year.”
 
The commitment to establishing BUNKERS! at multiple venues across the UK comes after a sustained period of investment in Adventure Leisure’s existing brand, Mr Mulligans, which has seen 10 new adventure golf facilities open at golf centres, retail parks and in city centres over the last 2 years.
While Mr Mulligans traditionally targets the family market, BUNKERS! appeals to a different target demographic, meeting the growing demand amongst student and adult groups for engaging leisure activities. 
 
BUNKERS! Swansea caters for students and adults only from 8pm daily with an age limit of 18 in effect, however families and children are more than welcome during the day.
 
For more information on BUNKERS! Swansea follow @BunkersUK on Facebook and Instagram or visit www.bunkersuk.com.
 

‘Sleeping giant’ Chart Hills Golf Club chooses GMS as PR and marketing agency

GMS is ready to help awaken a sleeping giant of the UK golf industry after being appointed as PR and marketing agency for Kent-based Chart Hills Golf Club.
Boasting all the ingredients needed to become one of the very best golf destinations in the UK, the Chart Hills management team has chosen GMS to assist with repositioning Chart Hills as a must-play course, having previously been awarded a place in the Rolex Top 1000 Courses in the World, as well as in the top 100 courses in the UK and Ireland in a number of esteemed publications.
The new owners of Chart Hills, Ramac Holdings Ltd – who also own nearby Prince’s Golf Club – are committed to investing significantly in the venue, having announced its acquisition in December 2019, and are working on a development strategy along with the in-house team, led by General Manager James Cornish and newly appointed Director of Golf Ant Tarchetti.
Tarchetti has a strong relationship with GMS having worked closely with the agency in his previous role as Director of Golf at Prince’s.
 
“We are dedicated to restoring Chart Hills to the very highest level, which is why we needed to appoint a PR and marketing agency that is dedicated to taking this journey with us.
“I know the team at GMS very well and have no doubt that their wealth of industry experience and depth of knowledge will be a great asset for us moving forward.”
 
GMS Director Sam Elder added: “Without doubt Chart Hills is a real sleeping giant and we are excited to be able to assist Ant and the team in recognising the true potential of the club.
“The venue has everything it needs to be a truly outstanding destination and we look forward to a great partnership with their ambitious and driven team.”
 
Chart Hills, in Biddenden, Kent, sits in the county’s High Weald area and has been lauded nationwide as one of Nick Faldo’s finest designs since opening in 1993.
 
For further information on Chart Hills, visit www.charthills.co.uk, ring 01580 292222 or email reception@charthills.co.uk
 

Canterbury Golf Club Launches Second Club Membership

Following its success with the ground-breaking Associate Membership, the progressive Canterbury Golf Club in Kent (www.canterburygolfclub.co.uk) has launched another innovative form of golf club membership.
  For just £360 a year, the new Second Club Membership will provide similar playing rights to the club’s full membership.
  To be eligible for Second Club Membership, a golfer must have full playing membership of another golf club and have not been a member of Canterbury for the previous two years.
  The combined subscription of the home club and Second Club Memberships will need to equate to at least the value of a 5-day membership at Canterbury. The management of the individual’s handicap will remain with the home club.
Canterbury general manager, Roger Hyder, explains the rationale behind the introduction of the new membership: “We have found that many golfers who are members of other clubs also want to be members of Canterbury without having to give up membership of their home club.
  “We believe that the Second Club Membership will give golfers the flexibility they are seeking without undermining our current membership programme. It will allow golfers thinking of changing clubs to try before they buy and will also allow incoming full members to get a feel for what Canterbury offers before making a commitment.”
 
Located on the outskirts of Kent’s medieval cathedral city, Canterbury Golf Club was founded in 1927 on 160 acres of land leased from the War Office and today is considered to be one of the finest examples of Harry Colt design in England.
  Though first laid out as a downland course, the gradual introduction of oaks and silver birches along the fairways have altered the nature of the layout that now has more of a parkland feel, though a little gorse and broom can be found on some holes. Set on undulating terrain, the par71, 6,272-yard layout (off the whites) provides a challenging round of golf with its mix of open par 5s, tight par 4s and challenging par 3s.
  The club itself is a hive of activity at the moment as it goes through an exciting period of change and improvement.
Recent appointments have included Ellie Walton as clubhouse manager and Aaron Galbraith as director of golf whilst work has already started on a clubhouse extension 
  The golf shop operation is being brought in-house and will incorporate a refit by Miller Brown, who have recently carried out similar work at Wentworth, Gleneagles and Trevose among others.
  
For further information on Canterbury Golf Club, please contact Roger Hyder, general manager at gm@canterburygolfclub.co.uk or on 01227 453532.
 

Prince’s Joins Ocean Tee Crowd in Continued Sustainability Efforts

Prince’s Golf Club has opted to join the growing movement to reduce the amount of plastic waste in golf by signing up to exclusively offer Ocean Tee’s bamboo golf tees.
A unique eight-week crowd initiative - which aims to use the buying power of 25 clubs across the UK to make a cost effective, sustainable statement - sees Prince’s make the switch to the environmentally friendly tees.
The move follows a pattern of other sustainable measures, as the historic Sandwich Club looks to enhance its positive environmental impact.
The club’s commitment has been driven by Course Manager, Sean McLean, who has managed the process of renovating all 27 holes on the rugged Kent coastline over the last two years.
Routed through grassy walkways, natural dunes, open sand-scrape areas and natural wetlands, the Prince’s links acts as a natural habitat for rare coastal species of flora and fauna, which the club has encouraged throughout the developments.
Despite the significant period of works, Prince’s has also successfully retained the internationally recognised GEO Certified® status for its outstanding work developing practical and valuable social and environmental results around the course and clubhouse.
The most respected certification for best practices of sustainability in golf, GEO Foundation’s independent audit noted a comprehensive and cohesive effort to foster nature, conserve resources and support the community.
Ocean Tee’s mission statement is to provide sustainably sourced bamboo golf tees to clubs, and organisations, while promoting sustainability and the fight against plastic pollution by donating 25% of corporate profits to charities targeting plastic pollution and to initiatives that promote the health of marine environments.
Bamboo, selected for its natural strength, flexibility and durability, grows at a far superior rate to hardwood used for traditional wooden tees and champions the drive to kick plastic out of clubs’ eco-system.
 
“It’s fantastic that Prince’s are joining the movement and furthering their commitment to an environmentally sustainable future,” said Ed Sandison, CEO of Ocean Tee Golf. “Being on the coastline and having such a strong connection to this wonderful, thriving eco system makes Prince’s a perfect partner for us.”
 
Rob McGuirk, General Manager of Prince’s Golf Club, commented: “Reducing our environmental impact is very important to us and as we move into a new decade, we feel it’s increasingly important to embrace sustainability and challenge ourselves to be aware of our impact on the landscape.
“We are proud to be partnering with Ocean Tee and are looking forward to seeing the impact out on the course as our members and guests get on board with the change.”
 

Tewkesbury Park to host PGA Super 60s until 2022

Five-star family-run golf hotel Tewkesbury Park has agreed a three-year deal with The PGA to host its national PGA Super 60s Championship until 2022.
  Entries are now open for the event, which will take place on August 5th and 6th this year on The Deerpark, Tewkesbury Park’s 6,554 yard par-72 course.
  Eighty pairs comprising a PGA Professional and amateur both aged 60 or older are expected to compete for the Super 60s trophy. There is an additional Superb 70s trophy for pairs of golfers who are both aged 70 or older.
  There is a £10,300 prize fund for PGA Professionals playing in the 36-hole fourball Strokeplay event, in which male and female golfers compete equally.
  It will be the first PGA event to be hosted at Tewkesbury Park since the McIntosh family invested in a £10m refurbishment at the historic Gloucestershire venue, sited adjacent to the town’s medieval War of The Roses battleground.
  In late 2019 Tewkesbury Park’s 93-bedroom hotel was rated as one of the UK’s Top 100 Hotels by The Sunday Times, a much-prized elite ranking among the country’s 45,000 hotels. The accolade is shared by only three other UK golf resorts, including Gleneagles.
  Its highly-praised hotel and golf course were key factors in The PGA’s selection. 
 
“Tewkesbury Park is a luxury venue which is ideally suited to hosting a prestigious PGA national tournament,” said The PGA’s Head of National Tournaments, Charles Hine.
  “The quality of the facilities at Tewkesbury Park is second to none, and it offers the perfect escape for a party of golfers. 
  “In our summer 2019 assessment visit we found The Deerpark to be in superb condition, and the golf course will offer the ideal challenge to our PGA Professionals and their amateur partners.” 
 
The Deerpark was recently upgraded by golf course architect Peter McEvoy OBE and John Clarkin at agronomists Turfgrass. Although only minimal layout changes were made to the Frank Pennink-designed golf course, extensive bunker renovations and course conditioning works were completed throughout.
  In recent years The Deerpark has gained a particular reputation for its superb putting surfaces and it is now rated as one of the best all-weather golf courses in the west of England.
  Tewkesbury Park’s general manager, Patrick Jones, said: “Being selected to host a national PGA tournament is the natural next step as we evolve into one of the UK’s premier stay and play golf destinations.
  “We have recently received tremendous validation as to the quality of our hotel facilities from The Sunday Times and Condé Nast Traveller, and are proud to be rapidly climbing the charts in two major Top 100 GB & Ireland Golf Resorts rankings.
  “But with The Deerpark’s selection for The PGA Super 60s Championship, we feel that our golfing offering is now also receiving similar recognition on its own.  
  “Paul Hathaway and his superb greenkeeping team deserve to be congratulated for meeting The PGA’s quality standards and we will prepare The Deerpark thoroughly for this summer’s event.”
It costs £90 per pair to enter The PGA Super 60s Championship and competitors can do so on www.pga.info. The closing date for entries is July 15th, 2020.
 
To reserve a room contact Tewkesbury Park on 01684 272300 or visit www.tewkesburypark.co.uk.
 

Burhill Group Ltd Paving the Way with Investment in Apprenticeship Programmes

Burhill Group Ltd (BGL) is leading the way in providing pathways for trainee and apprentice employees at its 21 golf and leisure venues across the UK.
The group offers a variety of apprenticeship training opportunities, such as Business Administration, Catering and Hospitality Management, and Greenkeeping, and currently has 24 apprentices in place across its portfolio, with a further seven in registration.
This totals up to an impressive £42,000 investment into BGL’s apprenticeship training for 2019, with an increased £60,000 forecast in place for 2020.
 
“We are committed to developing our own people and providing opportunities for them to rise through the ranks at BGL,” commented BGL CEO, Colin Mayes.
“It speaks great volumes about the management and support at our venues and the great opportunities to not only find a role, but to develop a career within our group.
“We’ve seen the success of candidates in our organisation who have come through these programmes and this has only reinforced our desire to continue to grow and expand the schemes in 2020 and beyond.”
 
The group’s long-term pledge to advancing the careers of its people also includes the successful internal Manager in Training programme, which has placed several key fast rising leaders within the BGL group.
Investing in its leaders of the future for BGL includes providing access to further education, having recently enrolled successful team members for fully funded Masters’ degree apprenticeship programmes with the University of Surrey.
BGL’s commitment to development is not reserved just for managerial roles; the group has also developed a training pathway for its Food & Beverage employees, supporting staff in their progression with a mapped-out development pathway to show how training can help them to advance in their career.
In addition, a year ago BGL introduced its own Learning Management System, The Academy, which provides access to more than 900 online courses for over 1000 employees across the group.
 
For more information on Burhill Group Ltd visit www.bglcompany.co.uk or follow @BurhillGroupLimited on LinkedIn.
 

Golf Genius Software Gains International Momentum After Strong Year

Golf Genius Software, the leading provider of cloud-based golf tournament management systems, has announced further investment into its international division following continued success in 2019.
The international subsidiary has achieved substantial year-on-year growth and furthered Golf Genius’ presence into more than 45 countries worldwide, while signing up notable new clients including associations such as Golf New South Wales (GolfNSW) and the Singapore Golf Association, as well as growing its stable of club venues with the prominent additions of Gleneagles, McDonald Hotels, Stoke Park and plenty more.
With a growing global impression, Golf Genius has invested in increased personnel for its international team, with additional resource being allocated to supporting its existing clients, as well as providing training and guidance for clubs and associations to optimise their experience.
In fact, in 2019 Golf Genius’ international team earned an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of + 72.5, which is rated as ‘world class’ by the customer experience metric for customer feedback and predicted business growth, indicating further success on the horizon for 2020.
The international sales team exceeded its 2019 targets in December, as Tower Links Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah, the number one course in the northern Emirates, chose Golf Genius as its tournament management partner.
Commenting on the new partnership, Simon Payne, General Manager of Tower Links GC, said: “We are thrilled to be on board with Golf Genius and are looking forward to rolling out the first-class software to our members and guests in the upcoming year.”
 
Craig Higgs, Managing Director of Golf Genius International, added: “At Golf Genius, we are continually developing the product to fulfill the needs of associations, clubs and golfers around the globe.
“Our continual strong NPS performance underlines a dedication to delivering outstanding service and support as we grow, in addition to constantly helping customers utilise Golf Genius in more efficient and innovative ways.
“We have invested in increased resource and new partnerships for the future with the likes of HandicapMaster and BRS, opening new avenues for growth and providing opportunities to build on our success with sustained growth.”
 
Clubs interested in receiving a free Golf Genius demo should contact Craig Higgs by sending an email to craig@golfgenius.com.