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2017 was good for us as we grew the number of our customers vis- iting us. Of course, the trick is not so much to keep busy across the summer months but also across the winter season as well.


You’re obviously more than a golf course but is golf still a priority for you? Absolutely. Golf for the local member and visitor is the core of what we do but obviously all the other bits help sustain what is an exceptional facility for golfers. We acknowledge that in the past 10 years, people have become more time poor and more con- scious of what they spend. Golf is not an inexpensive sport or pastime so we have to work hard and be creative in offering a range of memberships that appeal to all – from the beginner to the seasoned golfer. Our golf memberships are not as expensive as people may perceive. I think we are unusual in being able to offer a variety of ways to appeal to the golfer whatever their lifestyle or budget. If they can’t afford the time or cost to play reg- ularly on our Championship course then we’ve got a great quality 9 hole course – The Dartmouth - and some very affordable and flexible membership packages.


What sort of membership packages? We recently introduced the Golf Plus + package for the Dartmouth course. It’s a flexible membership scheme to suit you. Basically, you purchase bundles of points to se- cure rounds of golf (summer, win- ter, weekends, midweek, twilight etc) and discounted rates on the Dartmouth course. You could pur- chase 350 points for £200, which would provide the equivalent of 16 discounted midweek rounds in summer (up to 25% off green fees) or 16 weekend rounds in winter. Once you’ve used up the points,


you can top up your points from as little as £50 at anytime – and just pay as you play. You get priority booking over visitors, an official handicap and entry to Dartmouth Course competitions, bar and food


discounts or you can use your points to purchase buggies etc. If you decide to become a full member, there’s no joining fee, free buggies on the Championship course with every round (subject to availability), preferential tee time reservation, access to both courses, full use of The Dartmouth Spa plus many other benefits including member competitions, team matches and an abundance of social events. There’s also a wide range of other peak and off-peak packages. We have over 400 members and


we are working hard to attract younger members. Indeed, we hope soon to launch a new initia- tive – a Golf Academy – specifically to attract and develop new juniors by working with local schools. We’ll select, encourage and teach those that show talent and promise allowing them to use our facilities etc.


And the spa? We adopt the same flexible and


affordable approach to our spa facilities. We have consciously improved our facilities with an investment of £1million in recent years to appeal to both men and women and across age ranges. The accent is on cardiovascular fitness but also on the development of individually tailored spa experiences and beauty therapies. Again there are no joining fees – our Gold membership provides fantastic value for less than £9/ week or if you don’t want to commit long term then you can take out a monthly membership with no contract to worry about – it’s £45 per month on a rolling monthly basis. You stop and start


when you want to. This is proving very popular and we are seeing membership grow as a result.


The hotel is also a meeting place and venue for weddings? Yes, which is why we have done much to upgrade our facilities, function rooms and the packages we offer. We have the flexibility to attract a meeting of local business- es to hosting a major wedding. We hold a civil wedding ceremony licence and host approximately 25 weddings a year. But we can design and cater for events from just a dozen to 180 guests. Our events don’t have to be expensive – we have weddings where the cost is just a few thousand pounds.


How many people do you employ? It’s 84 of which 55 are permanent members of staff, the remainder seasonal. We have 9 green keeping staff. Most of our staff come from around South Hams and local vil- lages but not so many as we would like from Dartmouth. The poor travel service i.e. no evening bus timetable, does us no favours. Our staff has to have the use of a car to get to work. About 15% come from abroad, mostly from the EU, but actually that proportion has declined in re- cent years. Most of these live in our staff accommodation on site. We are a significant local business and we work hard to ensure that what we spend circulates around the local community. Local contractors carry out much of our building work out and we try and use other local suppliers such as the Dartmouth Laundry Company as much as we can.


Ravenseye


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