Golf 360

r0wly86

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If you come across this company, looking to buy your club or somewhere near you. Be warned they will gut the club and create a useless entity.

They bought my club Teign Valley last year. Recently they have announced that the club will be closing in November as it isn't financially sustainable, so they will be making changes. They said they need to update the irrigation system and other bits. They want to change the 18 hole course to a 12 hole course, as people don't have enough time to play 18 holes. They also want to build eco-lodges on the land to raise revenue, build pickleball and paddleball courts and create an "inn" for food where the clubhouse is.

Now with that information I was not totally against it. 12 good holes I could live with. They announced their plans, they are closing the north valley of the course, which is the most picturesque and natural holes and create 12 holes on the flatter part of the course. Including 8 par 3s and 4 par 4s the longest of which is 320 yards. So no much more than a glorified pitch and putt.

The kicker is that they have bought 4 other clubs around the South of England, and have said exactly the same i.e. club isn't making money, needs new irrigation, no one wants to play 18 holes so converting to 12, creating an "inn", pickleball and paddleball courts.

They have exactly the same plan for every course they buy, and say exactly the same thing and push it as they have had a close look at the club and have created a unique plan. The big problem as I see it, it my club is in Dartmoor National Park, the chances of getting planning permission for what they want is very slim. The original course took 10 years, 2 public inquiries and a High Court case to be given planning permission. So they will close the course in November, the course will go to seed, they will spend a few years trying and failing to get planning permission then give up. The course and club will be gone forever.

So if you hear rumours of Golf 360 looking to buy your club do everything you can to prevent it.
 

sunshine

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You mention puplic enquiries were required to build the course, so I am assuming that the course was built relatively recently. My observation is that many courses that were built in the 80s and 90s were lower quality courses on farmland and have not stood the test of time. I have no idea if this applies to Teign Valley.

The best land for golf courses was used up a hundred years ago. When there is an excess of supply over demand, it's the older courses that seem to be able to retain members. Whenever I hear stories of courses closing, invariably it was built in the 80s-90s. On the other hand it seems that courses built in the last 20 years have been built to a higher spec with better drainage and irrigation.

Maybe Teign Valley is not sustainable. The fact that it was up for sale might be an indicator. It's in Dartmoor National Park so I'm guessing the new owners won't be able to turn it into a housing estate and knew this when they bought it. I'm not endorsing Golf 360 but is it possible that a holiday destination in a beautiful national park with paddleball, pitch and putt and a pub... is a better use of the land?
 

r0wly86

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Joined
Aug 2, 2017
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You mention puplic enquiries were required to build the course, so I am assuming that the course was built relatively recently. My observation is that many courses that were built in the 80s and 90s were lower quality courses on farmland and have not stood the test of time. I have no idea if this applies to Teign Valley.

The best land for golf courses was used up a hundred years ago. When there is an excess of supply over demand, it's the older courses that seem to be able to retain members. Whenever I hear stories of courses closing, invariably it was built in the 80s-90s. On the other hand it seems that courses built in the last 20 years have been built to a higher spec with better drainage and irrigation.

Maybe Teign Valley is not sustainable. The fact that it was up for sale might be an indicator. It's in Dartmoor National Park so I'm guessing the new owners won't be able to turn it into a housing estate and knew this when they bought it. I'm not endorsing Golf 360 but is it possible that a holiday destination in a beautiful national park with paddleball, pitch and putt and a pub... is a better use of the land?

I may not have been clear, my issue is not with alterations being made to the club, as I said I would be happy with a 12 hole golf course if they were 12 good hole. It is the one size fits all approach that Golf360 have taken. The plans for Teign Valley are exactly the same as the other 4 courses. With the exactly the same spiel about needing updated irrigation, re-wilding of land etc.

The issue with Teign Valley specifically is that no one can see them making any money with their ideas. The country Inn idea, they want to build essentially a pub in an area with dozens of local village pubs that already have good reputation, Teign Valley is very rural so unlikely to get people from Exeter or Newton Abbot out to the country Inn when there is so much other choice that is already established.

Building of Eco-lodges as a holiday destination. One thing Devon is not short of is holiday accommodation. The biggest obstacle will be the lack of facilities at Teign Valley, they will have an inn and paddleball/pickleball and a very short golf course. Compare to Finlake which is 3 miles away which has fishing lakes, tennis courts, outdoor/indoor swimming pools, spa, gym. Plus the grounds to walk around. Then you have the mulititude of holiday park near the coast which Teign Valley is not.

Then onto paddleball/pickleball they used the idea that it is great because it is the fastest growing sport, I have heard this multiple times through the years, all it means is it is starting at a very low base, not that it is popular. As I said Teign Valley is very rural and generally of an older age demographic I can't personally see locals coming to play. For those in Exeter, Newton Abbott the two bigger centres nearby, they already have paddleball/pickleball in their centres so why would they travel 30 minutes to Teign Valley to play?

Just nothing of their proposals sound like they are at all sustainable, even if they get planning permission which is not a given.

As I said I would not be against changes made to the club to make it more profitable. But they haven't looked at the idiosyncrasies of the club and the area and come up with an individual plan, they have copied and pasted what they are doing it at the other clubs they bought which are completely different..

Looking at the course, 18 holes. 13 of which are on one side of the road, the front 9 plays though the northern valley, using the natural landscape, visually and in terms of golf the best holes on the course and I would argue the best natural holes in South Devon. Then you go up to the 7th and 8th which is a natural high point with unspoiled views over the valley and for miles. The 8th was actually the first every par 5 to have a hole in one, the term Condor was invented because of it. They are closing these holes for rewilding even though it is already full of mature trees and wildlife, some very rare wildlife too.

The 5 holes on the other side of the road, is called the meadow and is a flat piece of land, the wettest part of the course as it is on the river. The worst holes on the course. Their plan is to turn the cramped 5 holes into 6 holes. On the piece of land with the least topographical interest.

As an FYI the clubhouse did have a hotel attached,it burned down about 8 years ago, they have permission to rebuild already.
 
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