Northumberland’s Alnwick Golf Club is under new ownership in a deal announced by the golf club’s trustees in a major step towards securing its long-term future
The golf club has been operated by a team of trustees and volunteer members since its inception but as so many clubs in these challenging economic times, earlier this year committed to finding a professional management team and financial investment to ensure the golf club remained viable.
With the support and advice of the English Golf Union Golf Club Services department, they explored various options and have now reached agreement for the club to be run under private ownership with the formation of a new company backed by private investors, Alnwick Golf Club Ltd.
Michael Hubbard, Chairman of Alnwick Golf Club said: “Our trustees and members are very loyal and committed to the future of the golf club but the challenges of running a golf club were too much for a volunteer structure of members and helpers to bear alone.
“We need professional management and expertise and importantly financial support and we are delighted that the new owners will provide this.”
Paul Keeling, club services manager for the English Golf Union, who has advised many English golf clubs on their opportunities and how best to manage their businesses during some difficult economic times, said he was delighted that an agreement had been reached.
He said: “The club has suffered from a lack of resource and investment but can now put all that behind it. This area is a key tourist attraction in the North East with the famous castle just a stone’s throw away from the course. This golf club is particularly well placed to capture the tourist trade and is easily accessible by people who live in the region to make this a very attractive membership option.”
Founded in 1907, the original nine-hole Alnwick course was designed by George Rochester, the club professional at Alnmouth. For many years, it remained unaltered with both members and visitors enjoying an immaculately presented course.
It wasn’t until the early 1990’s when work on extending the course commenced and the new 18-hole layout designed by Alistair Rae, finally opened for play in May 1995.
Since then many different types of trees and shrubs have been planted and the seasonal colour around the course has to be seen to be believed. Many visitors return time after time to repeat their experience at Alnwick and it’s not surprising that the open competitions held at the club are always well attended.
Alnwick Golf Club has produced some fine golfers over the years, most notably Peter Deeble who played for Northumberland on 106 occasions. He won the English Amateur Championship twice, as well as other major tournaments, represented England 67 times and also played twice in the Walker Cup.
If Alnwick was good enough for Peter, it is certainly more than good enough for the majority!
The course offers stunning views across the Northumberland countryside and is home to a variety of wildlife including deer and the rare red squirrel.
The new owner, Simon Kimble, is committed to managing the golf club first and foremost as a members facility. A golf club manager and bar and catering services will shortly be put in place along with investment in the course.
Simon launched Gemini Network Media in 2006 after recognising changing trends in the industry and the growing needs for innovative solutions to help market the game and golf clubs.
He is one of the leading names in the exhibitions industry and launched over 20 events including BBC Good Food Show, The Television Show, The Restaurant Show, Destinations, Brand Licensing and The London Programme Market.
He is also Chief Executive of Clarion Events and is responsible for growing the business from a UK centric £15m turnover in 2004 to an International £80m turnover today.
To celebrate the new ownership the club has announced a very competitive first year membership offer of £250 for unlimited golf, which works out at less than £25 per month. For over 65s the fee is £225. This offer is only available until December 31 2010.
To find out more about the introductory membership contact the club on 01665 602632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org