Following the recent addition of Arkley GC to its stable of clubs, charity Get Golfing CIO has agreed a 50-year lease on Ansty Golf Centre, near Coventry and just off the M6 and M69 junctions.
The deal — concluded with the site’s developer and operator, the Smith family — marks a major step forward for Get Golfing, according to CEO Edward Richardson.
“This acquisition is strategically very important for our charity. To date, the sites we have acquired have been members’ clubs that also welcome visitors. These have created a sound platform of profitability, with annual sales now in the region of £12m a year and a total membership of around 5,000 people. As a result we now have the opportunity to broaden our reach into more grass-roots operations,” he says.
“To do this, we believe we need to look toward the golf-centre model. Ansty has been on the radar for some considerable time and offers a well-designed 18-hole course, a par-3 course, a 16-bay driving range and a substantial clubhouse that we can use to promote the benefits of golf to the wider community.”
Get Golfing has invested the profits from 2020 back into its properties and feels well placed as the golf market returns to some form of normality. Total investment over the past 12 months across the portfolio reached £1.25m, with major course and clubhouse facility improvements at a number of sites. This acquisition coincides with Get Golfing’s 2020 accounts being published, showing a net profit of more than £900,000.
Richardson adds that the acquisition will also help drive Get Golfing’s management training programme, which is aimed at providing ambitious young people with an opportunity to get a foothold in the golf industry.
“Having another club to add to our roster means that we can both offer more training places and potential a career with Get Golfing. As we grow, it is essential that we retain our working culture and the best way for us to do this is to train our own managers of the future,” he says.
“We operate a ‘can-do culture” where we constantly review our working practices so that they remain focused on delivering quality service, an enthusiastic environment, and, of course, excellent playing experiences.”
The charity operates nine sites sites in total: Hertfordshire clubs Arkley, near Barnet, and Mill Green, which sits between Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, Bristol in the west country, Warley Park in Essex, Hampton Court Palace and Pyrford Lakes in Surrey, Redlibbets in Kent and Sherfield Oaks in Hampshire.
Chris Knight, founder of The Revenue Club who help golf clubs grow their online revenue, and Hsupport the sales and marketing at Get Golfing, says: “The site will continue to operate as a daily fee centre, with a limited membership scheme. The charity will be investing, as it has elsewhere, into the site both from a golf and general facilities basis. Core to the values is the delivery of inclusive golf for a reasonable price, with a great food and beverage offering.
“While the Smith family have done remarkably well at Ansty, we feel we can add further value, so when Kathleen and Jonathan approached Get Golfing back in February, it became clear that a deal would work well for both parties.”
Ansty will also provide a base for Get Golfing to continue its charitable and community-based outreach programme, according to its Group Communities Officer Stuart Williams.
He says, “With its fantastic facilities, Ansty offers us the opportunity to create greater engagement between the golf centre and its immediate communities, not just for golf but the general betterment of the area. Having undertaken a review of the local communities, I really think we can help make a major contribution to the area around Ansty.”