In March this year, the world stood still as the global pandemic took hold, country by country we all went into lockdown and in a single day thousands of businesses closed their doors…some for the last time. However, Branston Golf & Country Club made the brave decision to not only continue with refurbishment plans, but to turn a 5 year plan into a 5 month complete refurbishment totalling over one million pounds.
The overhaul of the club came as a management buy-out took place in December 2019 with the new owners Steve Sharp, Francesca Sharp, Ben Laing, Abby Litting and Marcus Litting committed to long-term investment and development of the club’s facilities.
Managing Director, Ben Laing, states “The Coronavirus pandemic was devastating on all levels, the losses people have faced over the last 6-7 months have been inconceivable. When we were told to close our doors in March, we made the decision to make use of a time that we knew the club would be empty. We wanted to create a place that our members could really look forward to returning to.’
A dated, wooden and dim reception area has been widened, brightened and modernised with pale grey walls, white marble reception desk and contemporary lighting. As well as the stylish, contrasting sofas – digital screens have been installed throughout to keep members informed on the latest news and displaying golf, health & fitness and restaurant information.
Described as ‘the heart of the club’, The Clubhouse Bar & Restaurant is a place for members to relax and unwind after a round of golf or workout. Serving food from breakfast through to evening meals and drinks from coffee to cocktails – the new menu has stayed true to its traditional roots but now provides members with variety and style in an environment that oozes class. The Clubhouse was torn back to a shell of its former self and given a modern makeover that really gives local competition a run for their money. Boasting a unique view over the 18th hole, bright and airy conservatory area and booths for private dining, The Clubhouse Bar & Restaurant looks forward to the opening of the St Andrew’s Sports Bar and Terrace Room Restaurant which will soon be open for booking by non members, something the club has never done.
With the changing rooms well overdue a makeover, Branston Golf & Country Club decided not to stop there and completely refurbish both the male and female facilities. Digital pin-code lockers were added throughout, new anti-slip flooring, slate feature walls, modern shower cubicles, Dyson hand dryers, backlit mirrors and widescreen TV’s have transformed tired looking changing rooms into a place to enjoy and be proud of.
A brand-new sauna and steam room has been added to Branston’s poolside offering, although members will have to wait a little to experience them until government guidelines change. There have been measures put in place around the gym and spinning room to adhere to social distancing and sanitation stations at every other piece of equipment.
Additionally, rather than have to halve the class capacity, Branston have made use of their event space in The Pavilion by holding socially distanced classes there while the smaller classes stay over in the Studio. This has meant that they are still offering over 80 classes per week.
Since lockdown, The Driving range has been fully kitted out with Toptracer, a tracking tech that is used to track the shots of some of the best golfers. The technology provides instant shot replays and statistical feedback on interactive game screens in the bay, which allows players to make swing adjustments and immediately see the impact on their golf shot. Not only that, it’s great fun!
“The feedback from members since their return to the club has been overwhelmingly positive, the improvements were a huge surprise to some and they’re proud to be members of a club that is so dedicated to making improvements and investing in it’s own development” – Tom Storrar, Golf Manager.
Alongside the huge refurbishment, Branston have ploughed time and resources into building an all-new website that works for both current members and those looking for more information about the club, event space and weddings!
Take a look at the new website and gallery of images of the refurbishment here.