36 hole golf club to convert 9 holes into a vineyard

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 24, 2016 12:39

A Sussex golf club has come up with a unique way to increase its revenue streams – it is going to convert a quarter of its golf course land into a vineyard.

Mannings Heath Golf Club has two 18-hole courses, one members-only and the other open to the public, and it will from next spring convert the latter course into a 45-acre vineyard and a nine-hole golf course.


Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate

The inspiration for the venture has come from Penny Streeter, a Zimbabwe-born British entrepreneur with business interests in the UK and South Africa, who was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to enterprise and who recently purchased a majority share in the golf club from the Exclusive Group.

Streeter, among other business interests such as being the managing director of A24 Group, the biggest healthcare recruitment service in southern Africa, is also the CEO of Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, a wine farm and residential development in Walker Bay, South Africa, along with the five-star Lakeside Lodge Hotel & Spa, Benguela Brasserie, and Benguela On Main, also on South Africa’s Western Cape.

The 500 acre estate Mannings Heath Golf Club currently offers tastings of wines from Benguela Cove and a spokesman said it wants to create a ‘wine experience’ at the 18th century manor and clubhouse, with wine tastings and fine food.

Meanwhile the 102-year-old golf club is located in West Sussex, which already has various successful wine estates, such as Bolney, Nyetimber and Kingscote.

A spokesman said Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier will be planted from next spring, with the aim of producing Sussex sparkling wine.


Under Streeter’s proposals, the name of the club will change to Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate.

“We acquired the golf club at a time of general decline in golf participation across the UK. Our plan is to improve the golfing, club and venue experience for members and visitors, developing a ‘wine experience’,” she said.

“Wine and golf work very well together as a concept; we believe it will attract new members, visitors and tourists to the area. We plan to develop a winery and new restaurant, with the spike bar refurbished and re-opening as a wine tasting and spike bar facility, to create additional entertaining and post-golf space.

“The enhanced nine-hole layout is more in keeping with the current demands for less time-invasive golf and will encourage youngsters into the game.

“The changes will take place over time in several phases; this will include redesigning some of the holes, incorporation of alternative tees for a different back nine, a major upgrade of the practice facilities, including a short game area, and the building of a new pro shop. Our golf pros are very excited about these plans and, from the feedback, we are convinced that the decision is the right one.”

The 3,314 yards Kingfisher course, which will be converted, currently can be nine or 18 holes.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 24, 2016 12:39
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