Golf Features News Roundup

EGD to honour Pete Dye at The Legacy Club

The Dye London is to be renamed The Legacy Club, and will be brought to completion by European Golf Design (EGD) following the deaths of pioneering golf course architect Pete Dye in early 2020, and his son Perry in 2021.

The project, which was originally announced in 2013, was set to bring the Dye family’s unique brand of creative golf course design to the UK for the first time, tempting golfers with a spectacular new challenge from the designer of iconic PGA Tour venues such as Sawgrass, Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits and Harbour Town.

“We will be realising the vision which Pete and Alice Dye originally had for the golf course, including the routing, but we will provide the detail,” said European Golf Design’s Managing Director, Jeremy Slessor. “The Legacy Club will be enjoyable and playable for all golfers, but will also offer a challenge worthy of a Tour venue.” 

The new 18-hole golf course in Edgware, north London, will be the first collaboration between the Menai-Davis family and EGD, the golf course design company of the European Tour Group.

Tony and Anne Menai-Davis plus their sons Ceri and Cae, co-owners of The Legacy Club, and creators of the Seve Ballesteros-designed The Shire London and the forthcoming The London Links, chose the new name in honour of the Dye family, and also after a family tragedy of their own.

“My eldest Ceri and his wife lost their young son, Hugh, to cancer in summer 2021,” said Tony Menai-Davis. “This much-loved and extraordinarily brave young man left us at just six years old, but he filled our lives with enough wonderful memories to last a lifetime. We will think of him every day, and his favourite bird – the owl – will be in The Legacy Club’s logo.

“The Legacy Club will honour the love we all share for this magnificent sport of golf, and also the love we all have for people who are no longer here.

“My wife and I have created a charity, It’s Never You, to help parents of children who have potential life-limiting illness. The Legacy Club and our other facilities will all help these parents who are going through an indescribable time.

“After many years working in golf and at The Shire London, which is itself driven by the legacy of another of golf’s true greats, Severiano Ballesteros, I can assure you that golfers will love The Legacy Club experience, even more so now we have the team at EGD to help us bring it to life.”

Tony and Anne’s youngest son, Cae, co-founded The Golf Trust charity in 2012 and has helped to bring the benefits of golf to thousands of children over the last decade.

“We are all somebody’s son or daughter, and when you become a parent you better understand the power of legacy, and what it means to provide a better society for our children,” said Cae Menai-Davis. 

“When we met Pete & Alice Dye they could see that we were, like them, a close-knit family and we established a strong connection with them. It feels entirely natural, now, for Ceri and myself to help our family to create golf venues where people can discover a love for golf, which might last them a lifetime.

“And doing it in a way which honours not only Pete Dye’s legacy but also Hugh’s feels like the most natural thing of all.”

The Menai-Davis family business now includes five golf facilities in the London area, but The Legacy Club will be their first venture with European Golf Design – creators of The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup, and Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, the venue for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

“I have known Jeremy for 20 years, and EGD is a world-class team of golf course designers,” said Tony Menai-Davis. “I am a big admirer of the work they have done, and we are thrilled to be working with EGD as we guide The Legacy Club towards its opening a few years from now.”

“Pete Dye was one of golf’s true innovators,” said Slessor, “and we have all been inspired by his designs. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to meet him and discuss his strategy for The Dye London, we will remain highly respectful of the foundations he and Perry laid here as we work hand in hand with the Menai-Davis family to prepare The Legacy Club for the changing demands of the modern sport.”

For more details contact Ceri Menai-Davis at The Shire London. 

Nairn Dunbar and The Springs course managers achieve Master Greenkeeper status

A pair of course managers who have spent their entire careers working at the same golf clubs have achieved the highest accolade available to UK greenkeepers.

Richard Johnstone of Nairn Dunbar Golf Links in the Scottish Highlands and Paul Brett of The Springs Golf Club in Oxfordshire have become the 86th and 87th members of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) to achieve the prestigious Master Greenkeeper Certification.

Master Greenkeeper status is awarded to members of BIGGA who have reached the highest standards of greenkeeping and golf course management. Members must have been working for more than 10 years as a greenkeeper, including three years as a head greenkeeper, course manager or superintendent. They must undertake a three-stage examination process including an assessment of the operations at the golf facility they maintain.

Richard, 39, joined Nairn Dunbar in 2000 straight from school and became course manager in 2016. As BIGGA’s most active member utilising the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, Richard has achieved more CPD milestones than any other BIGGA member. He has also undertaken a wide range of the opportunities that are made available to BIGGA members, including the BIGGA Delegation to the Golf Industry Show with Bernhard & Company, the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme and the Future Turf Managers Initiative with Jacobsen. 

Paul, 41, joined The Springs in 1997 and was appointed head greenkeeper in 2000, aged just 20. He has since overseen a transitional phase in the club’s history, including a three-year period when the club was put up for sale and he took on general manager duties and operated the on-site shop. In 2017 Darwin Escapes purchased the golf club and hotel and has since invested £20m into the redevelopment of the site, with Paul playing a key role in the redevelopment of the golf course, alongside former Ryder Cup captain Brian Huggett MBE and architect Tim Lobb. On 20 December 2021 Paul will take up a new role as course manager at The West Berkshire GC. 

Richard said: “Learning never stops and I am always setting myself new challenges, one of which was to complete the Master Greenkeeper Certificate. It had always been an ambition of mine to become a Master Greenkeeper and I feel so proud to have achieved it at the first attempt. The whole process, from the review of golf course operations to the final examinations, was extremely rewarding for both myself and the team. I’m now looking forward to doing what I can to give back to the industry and help others reach their full potential.”

Paul said: “I had often thought of attempting the Master Greenkeeper process. However, due to being dyslexic and shy, I avoided it. While giving advice to both of my sons in preparation for university and the challenges they faced – being shy themselves – it made me take a look at myself and I decided it was time to practice what I preached. I have really enjoyed all stages of the process and I feel so proud to have my name on a list with so many great guys.”

To find out more about the Master Greenkeeper Certificate and to get involved, head to the BIGGA website.

BIGGA postpones major industry gathering, BTME, to March 2022 in light of latest coronavirus wave

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has made the decision to postpone its major exhibition and trade show, the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME), which was due to take place in January 2022.

Taking into consideration the uncertainty regarding the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the National Board of Management of the association convened on the evening of Thursday 16 December and made the unanimous decision to delay the exhibition and associated education programme, Continue to Learn, which are held at the Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire.

The new dates for BTME 2022 will be Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 March 2022, with Continue to Learn taking place from Sunday 20 to Wednesday 23 March 2022.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton will take to Facebook Live at 2pm on Friday 17 December to provide further clarification regarding the decision and to answer any questions relating to the postponement. Head to the BIGGA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/golfgreenkeepers to get involved.

Jim said: “The uncertainty regarding the Omicron wave of coronavirus has led us to engage in consultation with key stakeholders and consider contingency courses of action for our flagship event, BTME. We know all sides of the industry are keen for the show to take place and after due consideration of all options the BIGGA National Board of Management, working closely with BIGGA’s team of staff, has taken the decision to postpone BTME until March 2022.

'It is heartening to see the success of the booster vaccination programme, but we are committed to running a safe show for all attendees and with all the information available to us, we do not believe this would be possible in January 2022.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and has involved an incredible amount of logistical organisation to make a postponement possible. I am grateful to all of the key stakeholders that make BTME possible for their rapid responses to our decision, which has enabled us to confirm the postponement as early as today.

“Our thanks go to those who have supported BIGGA in this decision and we are excited to be hosting the full BTME and Continue to Learn experience in March 2022.”

Attendees who have signed up for the show will automatically be registered for the new dates. Continue to Learn bookings will also be carried over and BIGGA will be in contact with everyone who has booked a place on the education programme in the coming days to discuss arrangements further.

BIGGA acknowledges that this postponement will present challenges to many exhibitors and visitors to BTME and the team is committed to assisting all those who need support to transfer their commitments.

The BIGGA National Board of Management is the elected body of BIGGA members from across the country whose voluntary role is to provide strategic direction and ratify key decisions on behalf of the association. They are supported by a network of volunteers at all levels of BIGGA and the core BIGGA staff team.

Anyone who requires further information or assistance as to the postponement of BTME is encouraged to contact BIGGA via the following channels:

Website: www.btme.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1347 833 800

Email: info@bigga.co.uk

WhatsApp: +44 (0) 7933 203 645

Twitter: @BIGGALtd

Facebook: /golfgreenkeepers

 

La Cala Named As One Of The World’s Top 100 Golf Resorts In Industry-Leading Rankings 

Golf World Top 100 ranking places LA Cala 73rd in a list of the world’s best golf resorts 

Judges from the industry-leading Golf World Top 100 Rankings have recognised La Cala as the 73rd best golf resort in the world in their recently published Top 100 World Resorts list.

This is the latest in a series of accolades received by the La Cala Resort. Golf World recently ranked La Cala Resort as the best 4* resort in Spain and the third best resort in the country. La Cala also received an Outstanding Service Award from the global golf tourism organisation IAGTO, in recognition for their extraordinary efforts to provide partners and guests the highest levels of customer service through the pandemic.

La Cala Resort General Manager, Sean Corte-Real, said: “It’s fabulous to receive such acclaim in this renowned ranking. To be named in the top 100 golf resorts in the world is incredible and it’s welcome recognition for the hard work and dedication that all the staff at La Cala have put in over recent years. We will continue to strive to deliver the best possible customer experience and to offer a golfing product of the highest quality.”

A distinguished panel compiles the Golf World Top 100 list – one of the golf industry’s most authoritative and respected rankings. Resorts are judged against four categories: Courses, Accommodation, Amenities and Setting, with points awarded for each. 

In Golf World’s Ranking, La Cala scored particularly highly in the courses section and the panel referenced the completion of recent course improvements as being a factor in that.

Commenting on La Cala, Golf World said, “La Cala’s cosy hotel is perfect for a relaxing afternoon by the pool, enjoying a world-class spa and indulging in La Bodega’s to-die-for tapas. But all that is topped by its golf offering. It has 54 holes and good luck trying to do a 1-2-3 of the courses, they’re so evenly balanced. The common theme? They’ve just been impressively renovated

La Cala recently finalised renovation works on the stunning Europa Course, as well as putting finishing touches to works on the beautiful Asia Course. And that all followed improvements made to the striking America Course a couple of years ago

“We are thrilled with the work that has now been completed on all three of our courses,” said Sean Corte-Real. “We took the opportunity during the pandemic to finish our course improvements and can now offer guests a greatly enhanced golfing product.”

Situated in the foothills of the beautiful Mijas Mountains with breath-taking views of the stunning Andalusian countryside, La Cala’s superb 54-hole resort offers an idyllic rural retreat just 20 minutes from Marbella and only 30 minutes from Malaga airport.

The three superb championship courses at La Cala - Campo America, Campo Asia and Campo Europa - each present unique challenges and slot seamlessly into a natural, undulating backdrop of trees and flowers, rich with birds and wildlife. Designed by famous golf course architect Cabell B. Robinson, each 18-hole layout has been created to ensure a truly exhilarating experience. 

La Cala resort boasts accommodation of the highest standard, including a 107-bedroom hotel, plus a selection of on-site Real Estate for sale and rental. Residents can enjoy the luxurious spa and a selection of excellent restaurants and bars. There are also further leisure opportunities with a FIFA-standard football pitch, running circuit, gym, tennis and squash courts.

Nestled between the arresting beauty of the Sierra de Mijas Natural Park and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea, La Cala is a genuine haven of tranquillity. It’s the perfect base for exploring Andalusia and Spain’s fascinating cultural cities like Granada, Seville and Malaga.

For further information on La Cala Resort please visit www.lacala.com