We learned how The Nottinghamshire Golf Club was able to increase its links with the local community during the COVID crisis. This time around we discover how they used the lockdown to improve the club for members.
For many Golf Clubs
The lockdown was a financially scary time. With an unknown period of time ahead of them, devoid of any members being able to play, many were faced with an impossible decision; release staff to furlough to ease the burden of cost and run on a skeleton crew? Or stay fully staffed and take another route?
For Alan Hardy, owner of The Nottinghamshire and Managing Director Amanda Fletcher
The decision was an easy one. ‘For us, it was an easy choice,’ explains Amanda. ‘Not only did we want to keep all of our Green Team on site, but we felt we had a golden opportunity to make some enhancements to the course while it was empty.’
Thus a plan was put in place. Rather than sticking to just basic maintenance, the club decided to ‘double down’, invest heavily in new landscaping and course design as well as adding new features and hazards to make play more interesting when member and guests returned. A new driveway, new turf, new car parks, a fully refitted bar and function room, added to a new 13th tee and a new lake on the 3rd hole of the Signature course (pictured below) were all added during the lockdown period.
‘The trick was daily communication with our wonderful members,’ Amanda continues. ‘We were sending newsletters, creating a detailed video with high production values, updating social media and letting them know that we were continuing to invest every penny of their membership back into the club while they were away.
So many members were kind enough to renew during this period, despite not being able to play and I genuinely think that it was the fact they could see just how much the club was improving, allied to the work we were doing in our boutique hotel, The Residence, sheltering frontline key workers.’
The lack of players and a full house of experienced green staff allowed The Nottinghamshire’s two stunning courses to achieve what many social media followers were calling a ‘brochure-quality’ look. ‘It pained me to see the courses empty,’ muses Amanda. ‘But it did allow us to achieve a level of utter perfection on greens and tees that’s just physically impossible during the normal bustle of a busy club.
It just meant that when we were able to open the doors on the 13th May, members were blown away by the way both courses looked and played. It was very gratifying for the whole team – and judging by member’s comments, just what they all hoped to see.’