It has been well-publicised that our irrigation system requires an upgrade and that, over the last few years, we have been patching up and making do with an inefficient and unreliable system. This costs the club more and more money each year and means that the golf course can't be presented to its full potential despite the team's best efforts. The system is at risk of catastrophic failure at any time. We also know that our bunkers are a weakness of the golf course and the results of a recent member survey backed this up.
The required upgrade to our irrigation system and the re-design and upgrade of the bunkers including rubber lining, and any future course design upgrades are inextricably linked. Therefore, before committing to any significant expenditure on any one of these elements we have undertaken a comprehensive review of all of them. We engaged with Tom Mackenzie of Mackenzie Ebert to carry out this review which has now been completed. Click HERE to be inspired. Password: NorthHants2022
On Monday 7th November we hosted a Members' meeting to present the outputs from the review and a vision for the golf course over the next 10 to 20 years, incorporating the irrigation and bunker upgrade. Preceding the meeting we shared a video presentation of the vision which captured some of the main elements of the proposal. The link to that video can be found at the bottom of this page along with the full course masterplan proposal. Club Chairman Alan Kinnear opened the meeting up by introducing special guests, course architect Tom Mackenzie and Irrigation consultant Giles Wardle. Alan then gave an overview of the proposals and why it so important to take a holistic approach.
Course Manager Sam Evans shared his thoughts on the proposals and masterplan and explained the huge difference delivering the plan would make to him and the team in delivering the best possible on-course experience for members. Sam believes that the proposals would see the golf course improve no end and compete with some of the best courses around.
Tom Mackenzie presented in person details of the vision and the proposed course upgrades. Tom has worked with 16 of the World's top 100 and 49 of the UK's top 100 golf courses including The Berkshire, Turnberry, Carnoustie, Portmarnock and Royal St. George's. Tom emphasised the importance of having effective irrigation to deliver the golf course to the required standard. Tom took a number of questions from members which can be viewed along with the answers below.
Chairman Alan Kinnear and Treasurer Gordon Davidson presented an outline of the funding requirements to deliver the plan. These included several different approaches to phase the works over a longer or shorter period and to different specifications. Each option considered requires different levels of funding estimated to be between £1.3 million and £2 million. We know from an earlier survey that members prefer the use of 'Loan Notes' to fund significant course projects. In addition to a loan note, the club will make available up to 30 10-year term memberships which it is hoped will raise in the region of £675,000 towards the works. The remaining funding will be raised through a capital levy (over and above the loan note repayment levy) at a level determined by the membership through a survey which has been distributed following the meeting on 7th November. The terms and conditions of the Loan Note will be modelled on a previous similar scheme and full details will be published on this page in due course.
Should you have any additional questions regarding the proposals, please direct them to any member of the management board. Alternatively you can speak to Rob Climas or Sam Evans.
Presentation Slides (revised)
Our Vision for the Golf Course Video Password: NorthHants2022