As you will appreciate, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit all businesses hard, especially those involved with the leisure industry.
At Redlibbets, we have completely lost 50 days of all our trading in the year to date. As a one-off event, that would be a major impact for the business to deal with but ongoing Covid-19 restrictions mean that we also stand to lose all of our revenue from events, such as weddings, for the foreseeable future. Similarly, our general food & beverage income is likely to be hit as social distancing regulations limit the number of customers we can serve.
We will, of course, be raising a credit equal to one month’s subscription within the first month of each renewal in the coming year to compensate members for the enforced loss of use of their club.
As you are aware, at the same time as income has been hit, we have continued to invest heavily in the course to improve all aspects of its playability. We remain committed to providing a high-quality, sustainable and affordable golf club for members to enjoy. As a result of recent circumstances, however, we have to implement a modest rise in our monthly subscription fees from August 1st.
For 7-day members, the increase will be an extra £5 a month or £1.25 a week to £115; 5-day members will pay £85 a month; Intermediates 25 – 30 rise to £70 and the cost of Intermediate 18 – 24 will be £35 a month. Flexible members will remain at the same cost of £460 for 200 points.
The pricing structure will remain at the same prices, although rate times will change due to the utilisation of our tee sheet. This will have an effect on flexible members, members’ guests and visitors. Please see our rate chart at https://www.redlibbets.co.uk/golf/become-a-member/, which comes into effect from August 1st.
We believe these increases still represent incredible value for money. Redlibbets is blessed with amazing drainage, thanks to its chalk base, which meant that it was only closed for two days last year despite one of the wettest winters on record. The investment in the course conditioning also means that you won’t have to play on temporary tees or greens unless we are making improvements to the course.
Elsewhere, we are taking active steps to improve your experience at the club:
- A golf course starter and marshal in operation to help maintain speed of play
- New greens iron purchased
- Increased number of staff working on the course
- Bunker remodelling, lining, shaping to over 60 bunkers
- Investment made into new borehole and irrigation on all approaches
- Limited visitor access at premium prices
- Race to le Touquet
However, we want you to get the most from your membership as possible, so please look at the range of options below to find the category that suits you best and feel free to discuss your requirements at any time:
This works out at £26 a week or nearly half the standard green fee rate of £50 on Saturday or Sunday mornings. You also get the pick of the tee times available because, unlike non-members who can only book 7 days ahead, you have a 21-day advanced booking facility. In addition, you receive a 15% discount on all food, drink, golf products and hire equipment, an official club handicap, access to all competitions and free group lessons. This category is limited to 250 memberships to ensure we can maintain a quality service.
The equivalent of £19 a week, this category gives you 14 days advanced booking plus 10% off all food, drink, golf products and hire equipment. You also hold an official club handicap and have access to all midweek competitions and free group lessons.
Intermediate 25 -30 membership
This works out at just £16 per week! As an intermediate 25-30 member you receive 14 days advance booking time plus 5% discounts on all food, drink, golf products and hire equipment as well as a club handicap, access to all competitions and free group lessons.
Intermediate 18 -24 membership
This works out at £8 per week, or just over £1 per day! As an intermediate 18-24 member you receive 7 days advance booking time plus 5% discounts on all food, drink, golf products and hire equipment, a club handicap, access to all competitions and free group lessons.
This is a one-off payment where you receive 200 points to use over 12 month. It is designed for those who play 1-2 times per month, enjoy competitions and possibly do not play for a couple of months a year.
You only spend points when you play. The points deducted depend on the rate on that day, the tee time selected and the number of holes played. Our guarantee is that this rate will always be lower than a member’s guest rate, so you get the best price you can for a round. You also get 14 days advance booking time plus 10% discounts on all food, drink, golf products and hire equipment, a club handicap, access to all competitions and free group lessons. If you want to upgrade to another membership simply contact the office and we will use your remaining points towards the price of the new category.
Food & Beverage
Surf and Turf every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 4th click here for more info – https://www.redlibbets.co.uk/whats-on/event/surf-turf-bbq-lunch/
Bar & partner cards
Members should also be aware that we are re-introducing bar cards from July 4th allowing all members and partner card holders to use any money on account and receive their discounts.
Finally, I thought I would pass on some thoughts from Edward Richardson, CEO of our owner Get Golfing CIO, on future plans for the club, which are below.
David Harris, General Manager
A word from Edward Richardson, Chief Executive, Get Golfing CIO:
We are gradually starting to return to some form of normality but I fear it is going to be a while before we are back to life at the club as we knew it.
Since March 24th we have lived the highs and the lows of the golf industry with dormancy followed by an almighty rush that I can’t say I have ever witnessed before. This has brought its own challenges and managing such an operation has not been easy. I am incredibly proud of the staff at Redlibbets who have bent over backwards to look after the ever-increasing membership and visitors.
The working day at Redlibbets starts with the green staff arriving at 4.45am and the clubhouse staff from 5.15am — with the operation often not closing until after 10.30 at night. The level of professionalism and dedication has been exceptional.
Redlibbets has become a popular place for golfers. We now have more than 750 members and the transition from total dependency on green fees to balance the books has arrived.
Critical to ensure this path is the need to encourage our new members to join in with club events. The match between the intermediates and the rest of the membership on July 4th I hope will be well attended and new relationships can start to be built.
This is the start of a host of initiatives to build the membership experience. Our membership is now diverse and we will be trying to offer all sections a relevant experience.
At the time of writing, the terms of occupancy of the clubhouse remain unclear so we will be doing everything in our power to offer as comprehensive a service as possible from the outside.
The reputation of the golf course continues to grow and much credit should go to Richard Covey and his team.
In addition to the significant investment in the bunkers and irrigation system, we have added two new permanent staff to the team and invested in additional grounds maintenance equipment. It is frustrating that we are unable to lay rakes beside the bunkers but no doubt good things come to those who wait! Please continue to do your best to smooth over the sand after your visit to the bunkers.
Over the course of July, August and September, we will be investing in a path upgrade. We will be starting with the existing paths to bring these up to a high standard with blended crumb rubber. Once these are completed, we will start on installing new paths across the course from green to the next tee and from the tee to fairway.
Once autumn comes we will work on further tree management. This principally will involve raising the canopies of the established trees on the 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th. In addition, we will thin the plantations on the 2nd, 3rd and 18th to retain the best species and encourage their long-term health.
Our long-term aspirations for the site (apart from the odd design tweak to keep it fresh) include an extensive landscaping scheme for out-of-play areas that will include wildflower plantations and native shrub development. This, twinned with our aspiration to increase the amount of wildlife on the site, remain key goals.
In terms of the clubhouse, as I have previously mentioned, we have been granted planning for an entrance extension, a central staircase off the balcony and various other changes. These had been planned for this autumn but, unfortunately, lockdown has hit overall revenue and we shall delay these changes until we have rebuilt the club’s finances.
Finally, as many of you know, we hired Jack Coleman to run the group’s clubhouses and food and beverage operations. Jack used to run the London Club’s operation and prior to that prestige venues in Thailand and Portugal. Jack hired James Hopcroft as our Head Chef in March and he will soon be unleashed on you! Having tasted his food, I think we will finally be able to hold our head up high in this area.