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GOLF


O


n a very windy and wet day, I head towards the club’s modern looking clubhouse, tucked away in the corner of a large business park, which


overlooks the 18th green and lake, where I’m given a warm welcome from both Gary Ivory and Martin Venner.


Gary has been at the club since the start of July 2018 and took over as General Manager in August with the task of improving the club’s appeal and increasing revenue. “When I took over, I saw the way the course was set up, we weren’t getting the best out of it in many ways. At the


end of July 2018, we employed Martin to help improve the course’s overall appearance in a bid to attract new members and green fees, and we have certainly seen a steady increase.”


Gary has been involved in golf management and operations for the past twenty-five years and worked for several proprietary and members golf clubs. He has worked with many greenkeepers and believes it’s essential to work closely and understand their needs to help a golf club progress.


The emphasis is on Gary and Martin to work on the solid foundations the course is


built on, to get it back to where it once was, hosting European Senior and Challenge tour events. Gary explains, “The course was built on land regeneration and a lot of money was invested into it when it was first built; thirty miles of drainage installed, a full irrigation system and USGA spec greens, so all the infrastructure is there. The layout of the holes is absolutely amazing and it’s a proper tournament golf course - you could be fooled into thinking you’re at a top golfing venue particularly on the back nine. However, we are being realistic on the course condition and decided it should always be at a level of seven out of ten in


PC April/May 2019


33


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