Recently I was able to make my first visit to the United Kingdom since the start of the pandemic and it was refreshing to hear that the UK is seeing an increase in participation in golf like many of the other countries in which Troon is engaged globally. The game is doing so well that many of the Member Clubs in the London area are having to implement caps on membership and restrict non-member play, particularly on the weekends and key holidays. This bodes well for golf and reminds me that as an industry, retention strategies continue to be the most important initiative that we should be focusing on. If we do not take this lift in participation for granted and retain these golfers in our game, we should be on a solid footing for years to come.
While in the UK I was able to visit The Grove which is an extremely special facility and one that TROON has been proud to be affiliated with since its opening in early 2003. The Grove has been home to many marquee events over the years and was the host of the World Golf Championship, won by Tiger Woods in 2006, and also home of the British Masters in 2016, which one of our very own #TeamTroon members Alex Noren won.
This exceptional Kyle Phillips design is so good, that I even found time to sneak in a quick 9-holes with the team, which I rarely do. Whilst out on the golf course with the team and experience the immaculate conditions for myself, as well as the service standards delivered by the team, which are second to none.
During my visit, I also spent time with Freddie Rexstrew, Director of Golf and the team at The Centurion Club which is a spectacular exclusive Members Club, designed by Simon Gidman in 2013. Located to the west of St. Albans, the course is perfectly presented through the existing pine woodland, giving each hole a unique and spectacular experience.
The exceptional course conditioning is only exceeded by the genuine hospitality that is provided by the team there. This course too has been host to many exceptional events, including the game-changing Sixes and most recently, the Aramco Team Series. Since my last visit, there have been several enhancements to the facility and it is clear there are many more to come, making this one of the most sought-after golf memberships in the UK for those with discerning taste.