During the lockdowns, local golf clubs who were able to, used the downtime wisely to improve their on and off course facilities while things were quiet. At The Herefordshire Golf Club, they were already embarking on a huge program of alterations following a change of ownership in October 2020.
Three local businessmen took over the previously member owned club with investment guaranteed as part of the package and they’ve been as good as their words too as we found out on a visit late last month.
The Causeway Restaurant and Bar is the new star attraction to begin with. The club have completely revamped their first-floor clubhouse space and added a wrap around balcony area too, overlooking the golf course.
The restaurant, with two talented chefs in the kitchen offers a brand new locally sourced gourmet style menu and also serves bar snacks. There is space for over 200 diners and the week we visited they had just hosted successfully their first wedding day and night celebration in the new era, 160 guests.
The clubhouse investment will continue through the off season with the changing rooms being refurbished and an improved member’s spike bar on the lower floor.
The Herefordshire’s new owners have looked after the membership during the takeover with reductions on their yearly fees as the changes take place and extra incentives on food and drink prices in the Causeway restaurant.
Other changes so far include increased space on the downstairs patio area following the move of the practice putting green to alongside the first tee. Course improvements are on the agenda, mainly involving fresh drainage systems to improve the winter playability further and new buggy paths. The owners have also invested heavily in a much improved halfway hut which has gone down well with the membership and will be invaluable in the off season, sitting by the 11th green.
The original James Braid designed layout will pretty much remain in place as it is with just a few cosmetic changes likely. The greenkeeping team are set to benefit too with the addition this autumn of a new fleet of mowers, ten new buggies have been purchased as well.
Exciting times and there’s a brand new young team in charge of the pro shop too with local lads James Heath (R) and Tom Mansell (L) taking over.
Class AA Head Professional James held previous roles at Ross-On-Wye and Burghill Valley and has a wide range of experience helping beginner golfers and juniors as well as developing county standard and professional players. Inside the pro shop is a Trackman 4 swing studio which also has a ‘capto’ putting system.
Tom has close links to the club, a member for four years and a previous winner of the club’s prestigious ‘Raven’ championship. A Herefordshire County player with a diploma in Sport Performance and Excellence in Golf, Tom is set to begin his full PGA training program soon.
The Herefordshire GC is becoming a real destination visit for all visitors and societies to consider and establishing closer links with local accommodation providers is another priority for the club’s new regime to focus on.