Buxton's Cavendish Golf Club climbs in rankings for top 100 UK & Ireland courses with green fees under £60
Twelve months ago, as the first Covid-19 lockdown took effect, the future for Cavendish Golf Club was bleak.
Dwindling membership, under-staffed, ageing facilities and debt were crippling this Alisiter MacKenzie masterpiece. It was so bad that members were warned that the club could go into Administration within weeks.
Wind forward to 5th May 2021. With a new Chairman and Board of Directors in place; with a 5 Year Strategic Plan well into its first year and with a rapidly growing membership, Cavendish Golf Club is a Top 100 course in England (Today’s Golfer, 2021) and has climbed to 4th place in the Top 100 UK & Ireland courses with green fees under £60. A remarkable turnaround.
Renowned for being MacKenzie’s ‘Inspiration for Augusta’ the Club has a simple but very powerful vision; to be the best course under six thousand yards long in the world.
“We have some way to go to achieve that vision”, says Club Chairman Terry Hayward, “but we have so much going for us, not least a classic and authentic MacKenzie layout that despite its length, will challenge golfers of all abilities whilst enabling them to enjoy their game”.
“Rebuilding the fortunes of the club is a team effort. We have an incredible, dedicated and experienced team of employees and volunteers working together to ensure that the member and visitor experience matches our vision.
"We have had to be creative and innovative in our thinking because money is still tight although the immediate threat of bankruptcy is well behind us. We are a small club in a rural environment, located in a very competitive area and at over 300m above sea-level, the conditions to maintain a golf course can be challenging.”
“Established in 1925 the 5 Year Plan will take us to our centenary which we hope to celebrate in real style.
"We need to catch up on years of under-investment and these recent accolades and the reviews we are getting from visitors will certainly help.
"We need to offer great value to both members and visitors and being so high in the under £60 green fee rankings, I hope will bring more visitors to us. In fact, our average green fee is £35 so it’s even less expensive than you might think.”
Since those dark days of spring 2020, when the future looked bleak, so much has changed.
The resurgence in golf due to the Pandemic has certainly helped attract new members and those who for whatever reason had given up the game.
Money has also been invested in course improvements, notably on bunkers and paths.
The locker room has been modernised and a new PGA Professional and Assistant Professional have been employed with a fully refurbished and well-stocked Proshop.
“Our history is very important to us and without a doubt it is our classic MacKenzie design that draws so many golfers to us,” added Mr Hayward.
"It would be folly to disregard this but, by the same token, we must move with the times to attract younger and female members.
"We also very much value our place in the community.”