Phil Taylor and his late brother developed Pachesham Golf Centre in the late 1980’s after Phil had enjoyed a strong career as a club professional at Tyrrell’s Wood Golf Club, just a few minutes away. Their ethos was to create a popular range, together with a basic 9 hole course, together with retail, food and drink and, of course, teaching. They succeeded in some style, with Pachesham becoming one of the best and busiest golf centres in the area.
On the range, there were originally 33 bays, which was a good capacity for the golf centre. Following on from the reshaping of the range outfield in the last couple of years, five of the bays on the extreme left, which were never as popular due to their positioning underneath some electricity pylons, were removed so that the range was reduced to 28 bays, with a substantial bund being created underneath the pylons. The good news since reopening is that trade has increased and often all of the bays are fully occupied. The number of PowerTees has been reduced to 10 and they look very smart on the bays flanking the right hand side of the range. The rest of the range is served with standard mats, but all have been fitted out with elegant new livery, carpeting and bay dividers.
Phil Taylor has a long history of golf retail. He was a leading light in the Foremost Golf group and still holds his shares today. Pachesham was a very busy golf retail unit for him for many years. As he has developed the business, he chose to step back from retail and the space had – until very recently - been occupied by American Golf. American Golf has embarked on a major restructuring following its recent purchase by Endless, which has resulted in a number of stores being closed, including the Pachesham site. Phil, no doubt, will create another viable retail opportunity for his customers to enjoy at Pachesham and is now looking for a suitable tenant to enjoy the retail area and also the excellent custom fitting suite. The retail shop, had been very popular, with two open panels that allow golfers to walk through the shop on the way to the range, but the retail option can be closed independently of the golf range and the rest of the facility. This allows flexibility on opening hours, particularly for early morning starts and evening functions, when retail is obviously superfluous.
Like many golf facility owners, Phil and his wife Susanne decided to take advantage of the opportunity to use inert imported materials, which would otherwise have had to be used in landfill sites, to reshape and resculpt the golf range. The range is now the longest golf range in Surrey at nearly 400 yards and it is so wide that no ball stop netting is required. The range is fantastically well drained and shaped to provide interesting swales and hollows, with the lower dips all served by substantial drainage channels to ensure the free flow of surface water off the range.
The course, which opened originally as a short nine hole course, has changed considerably over the years. More land across the road was acquired on a long-term lease from Crown Estates and on this area four full length, top quality holes with USGA specification greens have been built. The original compact nine holes layout was extended out to five full-length holes which wrapped around the back of the range and ran up to its fence on the right hand side of the practice facility. In order to accommodate these longer holes some additional land was leased from a neighbouring equestrian centre. This gave a decent length nine-hole course and it was very popular for many years.
With the changes to the range, it was decided to cut the course back to six full-length holes, with just two on the original site and the four additional holes on the other side of the road. The extra land from the equestrian centre was returned and the course, which was always kept in exceptional condition, has now been repositioned as a six hole facility with no formal golf club, no affiliation fees, no members and, best of all, no hassle. Today people can pay a green fee for 6, 12 or 18 holes depending on the number of laps they wish to make on this quite charming six-hole layout. There are four par fours, a par-5 and the par-3 with different teeing options and two holes on each green: one of these holes is a standard 4.25” and the other a larger 6” cup, designed for those who want to start playing - a nursery slope for newer golfers. Also the course now uses three sets of grass tees and an additional mat further down each hole to allow golfers of all abilities, ages and strengths to enjoy the course. Phil elaborates:
“It is such a relief not to be serving a group of formal golfers. We are very fond of many of our customers and lots of them have become good friends over the years, but running a course and club will always create some areas of conflict.”
There are excellent short game facilities at the centre that are ideal for avid golfers to practise, beginners to learn, and teachers to teach on. Mark Roe, the former European tour player and Sky Golf pundit is a short game expert and regularly brings his top quality clients to the centre. All of the greens are USGA specification and are cut, trimmed and titivated to be in peak condition throughout the year.
Pachesham is very much a family affair for the Taylors, with several generations involved. Phil’s other brother, Max, who has also been the professional at Tyrrell’s Wood, is one of the five coaches at the golf centre and Phil’s son Ben is enjoying great success on the Web.com tour in the USA. He narrowly missed out on securing a full US Tour card at the end of this season.
Inside there is a very popular cafe bar, which is run by Phil’s mother-in-law. Coffees, beer, wine and snack food are all served in an elegant and friendly environment and are the perfect complement to an informal round on this excellent course.
The golf centre is very close to Leatherhead and immediately adjacent to the M25. The noise from the motorway can be heard, but it has been carefully screened to ensure that noise is kept to minimum and to ensure the landscaping is not spoiled by this major thoroughfare. In the car park there is additional capacity, which the Taylors rent out to other local businesses that have insufficient car parking. This is both lucrative and can lead to an increase in customers, with the bonus that these office workers do not need the car park at the weekends when the centre is at its busiest.
For more details on Pachesham Golf Centre and the retail opportunity, please contact: email@example.com, or by mobile on: 07989 383788