Today at Bowood

Changes have been afoot at Bowood too, with a re-think of our memberships and a push towards a new approach and era for the club. Identifying the barriers to play and how we can elevate the experience has been top of our agenda.

Golf is seeing tough times. But why? A recent article in Golf Monthly suggests a ‘recalibration’ within a growth and decline cycle is the reason behind some facilities closing.

But is the true nub of the problem just basic economics? Supply and demand? It’s not quite so black and white, but what we do know, is without external investment from the golf-playing public, clubs will continue to decline and courses close.

We thought it would be good timing for an update on what has been going on at Bowood so far this year. How we are building upon our latest appointment as an elite PGA member – read our Blog for what this means to Bowood, and our plans and aspirations for the club in order to secure its future.

Membership Exceeds Expectations

A recent article in Golf Monthly highlighted that the simple fundamental economic practice of matching supply and demand is the key to a successful golf club.

We recognise this fact and as a result, appointed Mark Sealey as Membership Manager in late 2018 to redress membership and its direct effect upon the club’s future and community.

He didn’t waste time, identifying the need to introduce new membership categories to increase accessibility especially for the younger golfers who were previously priced out.

If the club is to prosper, we need to look to the next generation. A fantastic course without players simply won’t survive.

With the help of our Director of Golf, Ben and the Golf Team, membership has increased by 40% in the last 6 months – a feat worthy of praise but more importantly, the right social glue to secure its future.

We are very close to having a waiting list for 7-day golf members here at Bowood with Academy and Junior Academy Membership increasing significantly over the past 12 months. Much to our delight, female members have doubled moving towards a membership equilibrium inspiring the next generation.

Challenges from the Course

Challenging times for our Head Greenkeeper, Jaey. We hope you’ve been following his monthly Course Reviews as he and his team keep us informed with what is happening on the course.

His hard work may not always be evident so it’s a great insight into how he manages the weather, plans maintenance and presents a course in tip-top condition.

So far this year Jaey and his team have been building upon last years’ extensive fairway renovation programme with the aim of improving play year-round.

The benefits of intensive overseeding with bentgrass will soon become evident as the greens show signs of seed taking root.

Keep an eye out for work due to start shortly on re-levelling selected tees too.

The Captains’ Vision

As membership has gained traction, so have our Captains Sue and Chris. They have been fundamental in making the club a more welcoming and informal golf experience for members and visitors, existing and new.

How? By adopting a fresh modern forward-thinking attitude. An attitude with ambition.

They recognise the importance of bringing golf into a new era and how younger golfers will be instrumental to the growth of golf and life of the club at Bowood.

Interesting facts…

England Golf research shows that in 2017, 67% of all young people took part in some form of golf activity. That’s about 5.35 million youngsters in England but to the backdrop of ‘traditional’ junior memberships in decline.

The ‘one size fits all’ approach to junior membership turns its back on the needs of younger players and their families. Not everyone wants to become the next Tiger Woods and what may be fun for a 6-year old won’t float-the-boat of a teenager.

You need to onboard the parent too. It takes a commitment from both parties. From the feedback we’ve received, the introduction of a comprehensive junior development programme for specific age groups has been successful.

Let’s not avoid the issue of fees. Quite frankly, younger players were priced out. The new Membership and Tuition Packages acknowledge the needs of young players and have been adjusted. Last year, as part of our Black Friday initiatives we gave our junior members and other young golfers locally free Academy Course Membership to help break that barrier to entry.

We appreciate we must compete with other sports and activities so pricing needs to be competitive and offer value for money.

Our Professionals

Our Pro golfers are PGA professionals with over 50 years’ experience. If you’ve played on our course before and experienced some coaching, you’ll know the skill level of our coaches and their ability to progress junior, beginner, intermediate and even “European Tour” players.

They do this through their in-depth knowledge of the game and coaching expertise.

Using our Trackman, TPI, Flightscope and Swing analysis services alongside custom fitting sessions and being down with the latest advances in equipment means our Pros can take your game to the next level.

Their love of golf is apparent and being on-hand and approachable, key to the experience we want to cultivate here at Bowood.

Junior Golf Director Gregg, inspires the little ones and works tirelessly to ensure coaching is fun, relaxed and informative whilst challenging in our Junior PGA Golf Academy.

Courses are specifically tailored to junior golfers of all ages. They run on week nights during term time then throughout the school holidays. Private tuition is also available to develop your child further.

Ben, our Director of Golf and one of Today’s Top 50 Golf Coaches in the UK is always on hand for inspiration, tips and the latest equipment recommendations. He’s learnt from the very best and has a great aptitude for bringing out the best in your game.

Sustainability & Eco-Friendly

Our Pro golfers are PGA professionals with over 50 years’ experience. If you’ve played on our course before and experienced some coaching, you’ll know the skill level of our coaches and their ability to progress junior, beginner, intermediate and even “European Tour” players.

They do this through their in-depth knowledge of the game and coaching expertise.

Using our Trackman, TPI, Flightscope and Swing analysis services alongside custom fitting sessions and being down with the latest advances in equipment means our Pros can take your game to the next level.

Their love of golf is apparent and being on-hand and approachable, key to the experience we want to cultivate here at Bowood.

Junior Golf Director Gregg, inspires the little ones and works tirelessly to ensure coaching is fun, relaxed and informative whilst challenging in our Junior PGA Golf Academy.

Courses are specifically tailored to junior golfers of all ages. They run on week nights during term time then throughout the school holidays. Private tuition is also available to develop your child further.

Ben, our Director of Golf and one of Today’s Top 50 Golf Coaches in the UK is always on hand for inspiration, tips and the latest equipment recommendations. He’s learnt from the very best and has a great aptitude for bringing out the best in your game.

Entering An Exciting Era

Attracting players to a course is one thing, maintaining them is another. There’s no room for those that ‘rest on their laurels’. As a result, golf is entering a transformational and exciting period.

Yes, a great course is paramount. Yes, the clubhouse needs to be welcoming, the Pros friendly, juniors thriving and fees value for money.

But golf must move forward. Open its arms, and get with the program.

We hope you will join us at Bowood for this new exciting era of golf.

Unlimited Summer Golf Day Pass

Our Unlimited Summer Golf Day Pass is just one step towards making golf more accessible, affordable and enjoyable for everyone.

Unlimited golf can be enjoyed by all as it’s valid on our 18 hole championship PGA Course and Academy Course and includes driving range balls, access to the Putting Green and handy 10% discount for our Pro Golf Shop.

Get some practice in before an upcoming tournament or better still, round up some friends for a golf social and have a few games for less Monday to Thursday. Don’t’ forget we have the Halfway House for on-course refreshments or for something a bit more substantial, our Clubhouse Brasserie so you can make the most of your day.

 

 

What’s On at Bowood – The Spring Edit

With winter well and truly behind us, our attention now turns to spring! A lighter and brighter time of year, spring is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the better weather.

Here at Bowood, our events calendar is more energised than ever. We look forward to welcoming families, couples, groups, and individuals to our luxury hotel as well as Bowood House & Gardens.

If you are going to be our guest this month, then you’ll be pleased to discover what we have in store. We have spring events for various different people- of all ages and interests. Our events include children’s Easter events, a family Sunday lunch, and much more.

Take a look at our line-up of exciting events this spring.

Easter Junior Golf Camps

Whether or not your youngster has competed in our Junior Open or is just starting out, our Easter Junior Golf Camps offer another opportunity for young players to be let loose on our world-class PGA golf course.

Well, not quite “let loose”. In fact, the children will be coached by Wiltshire County under-14’s coach, Gregg Hood.

Gregg is a PGA- qualified professional and will be coaching the young players to improve their understanding of the long game. They’ll alos get the opportunity to spend some of the day practicing on our Three-Hole PGA Academy Course.

The camps will be taking place Tuesday 9th April and Wednesday 17th April, 9am-3pm. There will also be a golf camp in May Half Term for those who would like to continue to develop their skills, or who simply can’t make the April camps.

We look forward to seeing what the junior players can do. The aim is to enhance their putting, pitching, and chipping skills—rounding them as players.

FIND OUT MORE
FIND OUT MORE

Big Easter Egg Trail

Easter wouldn’t be the same without an Easter egg hunt (or two).

The second in our choice of Easter activities for children, Bowood’s Big Easter Egg Trail is taking place from 13th- 22nd April.

The trail is set to be the ultimate Easter egg hunt. Participants will not only be expected to find large (and delicious) Easter eggs, they’ll also be required to crack the code to unlock the Easter basket at the heart of the trail.

The Big Easter Egg Trail follows on from our Easter Bunny Trail (6th-12th April).

Good luck to all the explorers coming to Bowood to crack the all-important code.

MORE INFO
MORE INFO

Easter Sunday Lunch

We couldn’t deprive our guests of an Easter Sunday Lunch.

On 21st April, we’re offering either a traditional carvery or a la Carte lunch for the whole family. With our Easter egg hunt taking place in the morning too, there couldn’t be a better day to enjoy a delicious midday meal with your loved ones.

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Tour of the Private Walled Garden

The private walled garden is a spectacular place to visit. It is open to groups and individuals to book an exclusive tour. The first tour is taking place on 24th April and tours will run until early October.

Choose from the following tour options:

  • A guided tour with tea and coffee on arrival and a two-course lunch served in the Stables Restaurant. Arrival 11:00am. Cost £35.00 per person.
  • A guided tour followed by cream tea, served in the Stables Restaurant. Arrival 14:00pm. Cost £28.50 per person.
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VIEW ALL DATES

Learn Golf in a Day

Don’t have any golfing experience but tempted to give it a go?

Then our Learn Golf in a Day event this spring is the perfect opportunity to kickstart your golfing career.

For just £50 per person, you will receive 4 hours of coaching from one of our PGA professionals.

The day will cover all the golfing essentials and includes refreshments too. There are various dates to book on our website.

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VIEW ALL DATES

Writers’ Workshop for Beginners with novelist Venetia Welby

Venetia Welby is a writing coach and author of “Mother of Darkness”. And, this spring, she is coming to Bowood to give a creative writing workshop, with first-time writers in mind.

Perhaps there is a novel in you, waiting to come out?

For £98.00 per person, Venetia Welby will be on hand to answer any questions, as well as providing a comprehensive writing tutorial.

The great thing about having the workshop here at Bowood is the fact that our grounds will become a platform for creativity during a writing task included within the course.

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MORE INFO

Ladies’ Lunch with Sonja Heath

Sonja Heath is the Head of Crime Prevention for Wiltshire and is coming to Bowood to enjoy lunch. Come and join her for £26 per person. The cost includes a two-course lunch.

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VIEW EVENT

Spanish Tapas Wine Dinner

How about Spanish tapas and Spanish wine to kick-start your summer? A tasty selection of vintage wine accompanied by tasty tapas in our Sherbourne Restaurant. Hola Summer!

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The Spring Bowood Classic Car & Motorcycle Show

After last year’s success, The Spring Bowood Classic Car & Motorcycle Show will be back on Sunday 5th May 2019.

Expect vintage, classic and modern classic vehicles, laid out on the lawn of Bowood Estate.

MORE INFO & TICKETS
MORE INFO & TICKETS

Bowood Hotel’s 10th Birthday Summer Ball

We’re excited to be putting on a Summer Ball to celebrate our 10th birthday. We’d love for you to come and celebrate with us!

The cost of the evening is £49. This includes a glass of fizz on arrival, live music and a delicious four-course meal.

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VIEW MENU

Tractor Ted Big Machines Weekend

A fantastic day out for the family, Tractor Ted Big Machines Weekend is taking pace from 25th to 27th May this year.

Tractor tug-of-war and slurry soak are just two of the activities taking place. Booking in advance is strongly recommended.

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GET TICKETS

RunFestRun

RunFestRun is a HUGE run party, welcoming top running talent like Paula Radcliffe and Chrissie Wellington, as well as music stars like Razorlight and Olly Murs.

As well as welcoming first-class guests, RunFestRun visitors will have exclusive access to areas of Bowood Estate usually closed to the public.

The festival will take place 31st May to 2nd June.

MORE INFO & TICKETS
MORE INFO & TICKETS

What else is going on in Wiltshire?

And if the events above aren’t enough to put a spring in your step this season, Wiltshire has even more to offer.

Here are just a few more events happening in Wiltshire this spring:

Easter Crafts

A choice for young creatives out there, Easter Crafts are taking place at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham.

Enjoy, crafts, card-making and an Easter trail around the building.

You may even find a movie or theatre production you’d like to see too.

Chippenham Folk Festival

Set right in the heart of Wiltshire, the Chippenham Folk Festival is Chippenham’s biggest annual event.

The folk festival is now in its 43rd year and visitors can expect to see more than 200 events, all associated with folk song, music, dance, and traditions.

Easter at Bowood

We’re looking forward to welcoming all our guests here at Bowood. If any of the events above have taken your fancy, then please don’t hesitate to contact us to make a booking. Likewise, if you would like some alternative options or would like to find out more, we are happy to help.

SEE WHAT'S ON AT BOWOOD

View our full events calendar here at Bowood this year…

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