What are golf clubs investing in?

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 9, 2020 11:44 Updated

Most golf clubs need to invest in themselves in order to grow. Here, we look at three that have decided to splash the cash in the last few months, to find out what they’re investing in and how much they’re spending.

A common feature among golf clubs that have been growing of late is that they have been investing in themselves – and, relatedly, spokespeople for ones that have closed down have consistently said at least part of their problems were due to a lack of investment. But what have golf clubs been spending money on, in recent months, in order to grow?

Cranleigh Golf & Country Club has invested more than £70,000 in new greenkeeping equipment and a similar amount on refurbishing its steam room, sauna and shower area. The club has also refurbished its driving range and installed cutting-edge cycling technology in its spinning studio

Cranleigh Golf & Country Club

Cranleigh Golf & Country Club in Surrey had already allocated nearly £250,000 to improve its facilities over the past two years, ‘which have been the catalyst for a big boost in membership numbers’, said a spokesman.

But the club has said it will invest even more in 2020 and beyond.

Among the changes, upwards of £70,000 has been invested in new greenkeeping equipment which has been used on a winter project to renovate tees, bunkers and paths – and will see the level of golf course maintenance raised to an even higher standard, added the spokesman.

Cranleigh Golf & Country Club

A similar figure was also spent on refurbishing the club’s steam room, sauna and shower area to bring a fresh, modern look and feel, a new contemporary colour palette, and the latest equipment.

In addition, the club has refurbished its driving range to provide members with new practice facilities to improve their game. The range has six indoor bays and four outdoor bays and is available for members and visitors from dusk til dawn.

And cutting-edge technology has been installed in its spinning studio to bring the latest virtual cycling equipment to the club. The new system brings a cinematic riding experience to the studio, giving the rider the opportunity to visit some of the most picturesque routes in the world, with on-screen instruction to guide and push them to a higher level of fitness.

Cranleigh’s general manager, Nick Hughes, said: “Our highest priority is making sure our thriving membership have everything they need to get the maximum enjoyment and benefit from the club.

“We want to give them the top facilities and an experience that they would struggle to find elsewhere. It’s important we listen to what they want and make the necessary changes to the club to make sure we’re giving it to them – keeping up with latest trends and ensuring they feel valued. Of course, there are costs involved, but we feel they are worth it as we aim to improve our overall experience and offering. Naturally, we also hope that having the very best facilities also attracts visitors and new members to the club.”

And Hughes believes there is much more to the club’s overall appeal than the facilities.

He said: “Our ethos is to provide a welcoming, friendly environment for everyone to enjoy. Leisure time is at a premium for so many people these days, so we want to ensure people make the most of it.”

Last summer Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire announced a three-year strategic investment programme which has already resulted in improvements.

Carden Park Hotel

The venue has refurbished its pro shop and installed in it a custom fit studio and all-weather custom fitting bay with new golf software.

Carden Park Hotel

The shop offers more variety than before, with TaylorMade, Ping and Green Lamb products available to buy along with existing brands Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, Oscar Jacobson and more.

The 1000-acre country estate can now offer its members and guests custom club fittings. The new custom fitting bay allows members to try out clubs with Carden Park pros to ensure the clubs fit them and their style and ultimately help to improve their game.

Carden Park Hotel

During a custom fit studio session pros will learn an individual’s handicap, height and shot preferences and, using software, analyse factors such as face angle, dynamic loft and smash factor, resulting in a head-shaft combination that optimises distance and consistency. A full bag fitting with a Carden Park pro will cost members £50.

Carden Park has invested in a new pro shop and custom fit studio, while its clubhouse bar has seen a refurbishment with new soft furnishings, lighting and flooring

Alongside the pro shop and custom fit studio, the clubhouse bar has also seen a refurbishment with new soft furnishings, lighting and flooring.

And Wychwood Park Hotel and Golf Club has unveiled a brand new look after undergoing a £3 million refurbishment project.

Wychwood Park Hotel and Golf Club has spent £3 million on an overhaul of its bar and restaurant and a refurbishment of all its bedrooms. Stilt walkers helped with the unveiling at the end of 2019


Among the renovations was a full refurbishment of the hotel’s 110 bedrooms, with brightly-coloured interiors replacing the former décor and a new lock system being introduced to increase efficiency.

The bar and restaurant areas were also given a complete overhaul, while the venue’s atrium and public areas were rejuvenated with new furnishings and layouts.

Robert Glashan, general manager at Wychwood Park, said: “From the bedrooms to the public areas, we’ve made sure that we are have injected a fresh new look and added a touch of luxury to the overall finish.

“From the outset, we had a clear vision of creating a place that could seamlessly move from a trip for business to one that is a short break. Throughout our journey, we’ve kept our core offering the same – we are not simply a hotel, but also a fully equipped conferencing facility that has been redeveloped into a quality hotel and golf club.

“We’re committed to keeping up with the latest trends in technology to help provide a first-class experience for all of our guests.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 9, 2020 11:44 Updated
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1 Comment

  1. Garfunkel February 14, 09:40

    I’m particularly interested in how some Golf clubs have invested in encouraging families with children. My local club has invested in an outdoor Adventure Golf and an indoor glow in the dark crazy golf, and it’s great to see how this has given a massive uplift in customers and kids being introduced to golf at a young age. Good to see how diversifying to reach a wider audience injects new life and cash to create a thriving and sustainable club.

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