Private clubs get creative

Some clubs discover that outside-the-box thinking pays off in elusive new memberships, added revenue "I run across a lot of clubs who are not doing so well and they're starting to think about why and what they can do about it." That observation, from private club consultant Heidi Voss of Bauer Voss Consulting, sums up the dilemma many of today's private golf and country clubs are facing. Economic pressures, from layoffs to fuel prices to volatile stock prices to declining home values and the mortgage crisis, are putting many U.S.

Growing the game, UK -style

With play stagnant, British programs seek to bring new golfers to the game by reaching out to youths In an effort to grow golf in communities where access has been limited, two UK-based programs, Golf Roots and FIRSTGOLF, are determined to make the sport more inclusive to urban and disadvantaged youths.

"The idea started because we needed to take golf into areas where it was seen as not an option," said Mike Round, chief executive officer of the Golf Foundation, which sponsors Golf Roots.

East does it

More courses find that making their courses more player-friendly can help keep rounds numbers up In today's increasingly competitive golf environment, some clubs are finding success in simplicity.

Clubs such as Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas, The Club at Morgan Hill in Easton, Pa., and Norman K. Probstein Golf Course in St. Louis all have renovated their courses to make them easier and more enjoyable for the average golfer. And the result is better for their bottom lines.

The magnificent seventh

After a lengthy development process, the ?12 million Castle Course joins the historic lineup at the home of golf In St Andrews a new golf course is opened every 85 years or so. The first attempt, 600 years ago, did modestly well until a number of changes were made during the 18th and 19th centuries. That created what many believe to be the definitive golf course. The Old Course was later joined by five others, all of which were eventually run and administered by the St Andrews Links Trust.

Opening in sight for Langer-designed project

Construction is nearly complete on the Navarino Dunes major new resort development in Messinia, located on the southwest coast Greece. The course has been designed by Bernhard Langer in conjunction with European Golf Design, the joint venture company of the European Tour and IMG. It is scheduled to open in 2009. The facility will include the 18-hole, 6155-meter, par-72 championship course, a driving range and short game area.

Vasatorp Golfklubb opens new tournament course

Vasatorp Golfklubb in Helsingborg, Sweden, recently opened an 18- hole new tournament course, boosting the facility to 54 holes. One of the country's most respected golf clubs (its original course, opened in 1974, helped launch the nation's successful junior development program), Vasatorp officials hope to use the new layout to attract European PGA Tour events and possibly even a Ryder Cup. Hills/Forrest & Associates was architect for the project, which involved redesign of nine existing holes and the addition of nine new ones.

2010 opening planned for Ury Estate project

A new golf resort at Ury Estate, near Stonehaven, will be a part of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Clubs network of courses available for Nicklaus Clubs members to play throughout the world. Plans have been approved by local councilors for the restoration of the Ury House and construction of the golf course, with approvals pending for approximately 230 homes on and around the 1,500-acre estate. The Nicklaus Signature course will be only the second Nicklaus-designed course in Scotland.

Royal Fern project near final approval

Approximately 20 years after it was first proposed and after three years of legal negotiations, it appears that a major golf development in northern Swansea may be on the verge of getting a green light.

The development is to include the Royal Fern Golf Course, with 18 holes, a par-3 course and a golf academy, as well as 80 golf lodges and approximately 135 other residential properties.

Plans for the project, which is headed by developer Dillwyn Productions, have been tentatively approved by the Swansea Council, apparently pending final OK by the Welsh Assembly.

Washington State University gets new course

A new 18-hole golf course that will serve as the home of the Washington State University golf teams recently opened in Pullman, Wash. Palouse Ridge Golf Club at Washington State University is expected to serve as the centerpiece for an overall development that will include a hotel-conference center, research facilities and other local and regional economic development efforts. The course, designed by architect John Harbottle was built by Oliphant Construction and is run by CourseCo.

Sea of Cortez resort to include Dye course

Construction began early this summer on the Cabo Riviera marina and golf course residential and resort hotel development at La Ribera on the East Cape of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. The development, which will include 400 waterfront home sites and a Pete Dye-designed 18-hole golf course, is also scheduled to include at least two low density resort hotels, one of which will be developed by Mandarin Hotels.


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