Golf brand helps acquisition of club – saving it from closure

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 3, 2021 07:42

A company that runs golf events, sells golf clothing and offers discounted green fees at several venues has helped save a UK golf club from closing down.

The 94-year-old Cleeve Hill Golf Club in Gloucestershire was told it would close down after its operator served notice to end its tenancy last year, with its lease due to run until the end of this March. The club was then subjected to vandalism – just as some interested parties came forward with a view to rescuing the club.

One of those was Cotswold Hub Co., which has now agreed a 125-year lease for Cleeve Hill Golf Club’s premises with Tewkesbury Borough Council and Cleeve Common Trust for a licence to play golf that will begin on April 1.

Cotswold Hub Co.’s co-founder is Nick Hovey, who is also the managing director of MASHIE Golf, a brand that runs events at golf clubs, a club of its own that offers preferential green fees at more than 140 golf clubs around the world and sells golf clothing.

Hovey’s two companies will operate Cleeve Hill Golf Club in partnership.

MASHIE Golf will establish its UK headquarters at Cleeve Hill and will open the course to its own members.

The two companies have said they will ‘completely transform the clubhouse facilities’. The plans include ‘a first-class golf club, plus wider amenities for the whole community, such as a new restaurant, café, accommodation lodges and a shared space where people can meet and work’.

Hovey said: “Cleeve Hill is an iconic golf course and to play a part in ensuring its legacy continues is very special. We are keen to provide continuity for Cleeve’s existing golf members whilst allowing the club to thrive by providing better facilities, improving the standard of the course and encouraging membership growth from the local area, which will be the heartbeat of the club for years to come.”

Sam Foyle, co-founder of The Cotswold Hub Co. added: “We are delighted to be working with MASHIE Golf to secure the future of Cleeve Hill. We have brought together the best-in-class local team, from architects, hospitality, through to MASHIE Golf’s golf management expertise. We are all deeply passionate about delivering the facilities, golfing experiences and hub, that Cleeve Hill rightly deserves.”

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s leader, councillor Rob Bird, said: “This fantastic announcement is the direct result of consistently pursuing a very clear objective, to enable golf to continue on this completely unique course if at all financially viable, and to achieve improvement to the site itself and better community facilities. This excellent Cotswold Hub Co. proposal more than delivers on our four crucial criteria, of enhancing the space for use by the community, protecting the local environment, protecting public access and being commercially sustainable.”

The chair of Cleeve Common Trust, Phil Robson, said: “We are thrilled that we have been able to retain the playing of golf on Cleeve Common. The course is considered to be of historical value within the world of golf, but it is also part of the history of the common. The plans that the Cotswold Hub Co. have developed will provide a step-change in the facilities that are available to all users of the common in an environmentally sympathetic way. For hundreds of years the common has not only provided valuable pasture for the grazing of animals but it has been an invaluable place for recreation, which has proved its importance to the local community during the pandemic. The Cotswold Hub Co. facility will massively enhance the visitor experience and will become a destination in its own right.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 3, 2021 07:42
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2 Comments

  1. Ainsworth February 3, 19:23

    Great story! I have fond memories of playing there in the 90s when I was at University in Cheltenham. Nice to read its future has been secured.

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  2. Peter February 3, 17:40

    Great to hear !! Collaboration is good times is vital to success !! In times of crisis, partnerships, collaborations and alliances are vital to survival, growth and success !! There are heroes out there ! Unusual times often mean unusual alliances !! Kudos to everyone !!

    Reply to this comment
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