Four major UK golf clubs set for expansions

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 26, 2024 10:44

Four of Britain’s biggest golf clubs have all revealed plans for major developments in recent weeks.

At least two of the venues are hoping to host the Ryder Cup in the 2030s.

The quartet are London Golf Club, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa, The Grove, and Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.

London Golf Club is planning on a major expansion that will include a new hotel and spa, to make it ‘Kent’s first health and wellbeing-focused leisure destination’.

The venue has called this ‘The London Project’, and it will also see a new wedding venue and turf academy created.

London Golf Club

The plans – which have now gone out to a public consultation – include a new 240-bedroom hotel and spa with lodge accommodation, the restoration of the Grade II*-listed South Ash Manor as a wedding venue, the provision of health and wellbeing-focused leisure amenities and a Sports Turf Academy providing training opportunities plus a 3G artificial pitch.

A pavilion will create access to a range of pursuits including a new natural swimming lake, racket sports and equestrian facilities.

The July issue of The Golf Business will feature an interview with London Golf Club chief executive Stephen Follett, in which he states that the venue is hoping to host either the 2031 or 2035 Ryder Cup.

Stephen Follett

Meanwhile, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa in Bedfordshire also hopes to host the Ryder Cup with a new golf course.

The club’s proposal to build a championship golf course was approved by Central Bedfordshire Council in June 2023, and the government has said it will not “call in” the application for a planning inquiry.

The decision means the planning permission granted by the council stands, paving the way for the existing golf course to be extended and remodelled, as well as the building of a new clubhouse and office.

The hotel’s owners, Arora Group, says it wants to be able to host the golf tournament also in either 2031 or 2035.

Surinder Arora said the government’s decision not to call in the application was “great news”

Luton Hoo currently has an 18-hole golf course but wants to replace it with a more challenging course worthy of hosting the Ryder Cup, which can also accommodate more spectators.

Surinder Arora, who chairs the Arora Group, previously said he had “managed to persuade the grandfather of golf Gary Player and Justin Rose to be involved” in designing the new course.

The Grove near Watford has also submitted plans for a new ‘world class’ golf facility.

The club has applied to build a new building next to the driving range which would offer three training rooms, as well as an equipment facility for fitting and testing personalised golf clubs.

It said the addition would “reflect the commitment of the hotel to uphold its exceptional standards with respect to the quality and profile of its golf offering”.

“This will ensure a unique and unparalleled experience for golf enthusiasts and professionals visiting the hotel,” The Grove added.

The proposed works would also create a formal reception at the ‘ad hoc’ metal container building for the archery and axe throwing activities, which it said would match the hotel’s overall five-star rating.

And Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club has been granted planning permission for remodelling works.

The course will host the AIG Women’s Open in 2026.

Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, said: “The remodelling of the Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Course promises to anchor the club as a major economic asset to Fylde by ensuring its suitability to host prestigious championships for years to come.”

The remodelling works will include: a new practice ground and practice tee; building of a new tee on the 14th hole; alterations to reroute the 11th fairway; and works to improve the road system to provide access around the course.

The club said it also hopes this will pave the way for it hosting the highest level competitions in future years.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 26, 2024 10:44
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1 Comment

  1. Wicks June 27, 12:15

    “If you don’t play you can’t win.”

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