Exclusive Queenwood experiencing a ‘rebellion’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 15, 2024 11:34

One of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world, Queenwood in Surrey, is experiencing a rebellion featuring extremely wealthy members, reports the Sunday Times.

Little is actually known about the club, which opened in 2001, reportedly with a joining fee of £150,000. It is said to be modelled on Augusta National, home of the Masters, and one can only play the course at the invitation of, and alongside, a fully paid-up member.

From July this year, new members will reportedly pay £175,000 for a share in the club, plus a one-off ‘playing privilege fee’ of £48,000, in addition to the annual membership fees.

The membership is said to be made up of several of the world’s best golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Ernie Els, as well numerous American stars of film and sport, and some prestigious names from business and politics in the UK.

According to the paper, the club’s chairman, Gerard Tvedt, wrote to members in January saying their annual membership fees were to rise by £1,800 per year to £13,000, to fund a new £3.4 million irrigation project.

Image from X

The demand irked some members and led to scrutinisation of the board, The Sunday Times reports, which led to calls for more transparency, democracy and changes to management.

Crunch talks are reportedly happening between the founder, US businessman Fred Green, and a number of disillusioned members.

Barrister John Kelsey-Fry KC, alongside Aidan Heavey, founder of Tullow Oil, investigated the accounts and revealed the club took almost half a million pounds of taxpayer money for furlough payments despite not lowering membership fees during the pandemic.

This was lawful, but displeased some members who warned the board that should it become public knowledge Queenwood was using government money to pay its staff.

However, the members were more chagrined by a £5.9 million payment from the club to Mr Green in exchange for his controlling shares which left ultimate control of the club with the board, headed up by Mr Tvedt.

A Queenwood spokesperson said: “Queenwood is one of the world’s leading private members’ golf clubs. That doesn’t happen by accident. It’s down to the focus, dedication and hard work of management and the staff. Our members play a critical role in creating the unique experience at Queenwood and their views will always be considered.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 15, 2024 11:34
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  1. Safety Consultant April 16, 12:05

    What a shame, such a distinguished club allowing its dirty washing to be aired so publicly.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Fredrick April 16, 08:34

    I need some wealthy folks!

    Reply to this comment
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