Mackenzie ‘trail’ shows benefits of golf clubs working together

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams June 7, 2016 15:29

A UK golf club designed by Augusta National architect Alister MacKenzie, which teamed up with eight other venues to form a ‘golf trail’, has said every club can benefit by partnering with facilities that could be perceived as competition.

Cavendish GC in Buxton, Derbyshire, which has been growing in the last few years, which follows a decade when it struggled, has been working with eight other golf clubs – all designed by Alister MacKenzie – within a 60 mile radius since April to form the ‘Cavendish MacKenzie Trail’.

“Running a golf club these days requires some new thinking and a willingness to be enterprising and to adapt to change,” said Mike Watson, Cavendish Golf Club’s director of marketing.

“Many members’ golf clubs all over Britain are finding life ever more challenging as they strive to balance their books, whilst trying to make sense of changing market conditions and attempting to manage that change.

“Simply doing what you’ve always done only better will not provide the success required.

“We therefore set up the Cavendish MacKenzie Trail. It has some very simple propositions: stay in Buxton and play Cavendish and eight other great MacKenzie courses within a 60 mile radius of the town.”

The Cavendish MacKenzie Trail comprises nine clubs opened between 1912 and 1928, all with a shared passion for their collective MacKenzie heritage and imaginatively designed courses.

“The Cavendish MacKenzie Trail is an example of taking a risk and doing things differently; a collaboration between disparate clubs, but all with a shared heritage,” he added.

“The grouping has a combined membership of circa 5,000 and estimated combined visitor numbers of 20,000. These numbers are significant and if leveraged could create welcome promotional benefit for all the clubs involved.

“Each club takes its own bookings with no commissions to complicate things and this is the same for the Buxton hotels where no commissions are involved.

“Leaflets, posters, website, social media and email are all being deployed to good effect, but we are also now getting traction with the local tourist board who see this as a unique tourist attraction for golfers to want to stay in the High Peak.”

MacKenzie designed several golf courses throughout the world including Augusta National, home of the Masters, just seven years after Cavendish opened.

“The topography and conditions he found on the old fruit farm in Georgia in 1933 was very similar to that which he found in Buxton,” said Watson.

The Cavendish MacKenzie Trail can be seen on:

Meanwhile, five Yorkshire clubs, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Pannal, Ripon City and Rudding Park, some of which were also designed by Mackenzie, have collectively launched the three-day and five-day Visit Harrogate ‘Golf Pass’.

It is a new collaboration between Visit Harrogate and local golf clubs

Director of Visit Harrogate, Michael Newby, said “Leading golf course designers Mackenzie and Hawtree have left their mark on these courses, creating some unique features and appealing contours. Beautiful natural woodland and heathland complement the rolling fairways, revealing sweeping views across the Yorkshire countryside – a real must for all golfers.

“The district boasts some truly magnificent courses with superb facilities. Our Golf Pass is excellent value and we are confident that it will help put us on the map as a great golfing destination.”

The three-day pass is £75 and the five-day, five-round pass is £110.

More information can be found here:


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams June 7, 2016 15:29
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