Waldringfield enter a new era
MAJOR changes are set for Waldringfield Heath, but it has resulted in a couple of casualties.A new project, costing an estimated £2 million, is set to be up and running in 18 months time as Waldringfield look to the future.
MAJOR changes are set for Waldringfield Heath, but it has resulted in a couple of casualties.
A new project, costing an estimated £2 million, is set to be up and running in 18 months time as Waldringfield look to the future.
With planning permission expected within the next couple of months, Alan Clarke, the managing director of the Suffolk club for the past five years, is to take a more active role.
Last week Robin Mann, the director of golf, left the club as well as Les McWade, who has been secretary since Waldringfield opened as a nine-hole course in 1983. Mann is currently on a Caribbean cruise teaching golf, something he has done on and off for some time.
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Explaining the future, Mr Clarke said: "We have a planning application with the local planners for considerable development and we have been in negotiations for the past year.
"The plan is to double the size of the existing clubhouse and have a restaurant that will seat 300 people. There are also plans to build ten holiday homes and included in the application are a gym and a fitness centre.
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"We already have planning permission to build a bowls green that the local village club will use.
"The CDC company will relocate leaving that area for further development.
"Our view is that we shall not be competing with existing clubs. Our theme will be relaxation."
Mr Clarke, who will now be involved with the day to day running of the golf club, went on: "Waldringfield Heath is no longer a nine-hole course with a portacabin that it first started out.
"It's a big business with golf, conference and banqueting facilities. We also do a lot of weddings and have already got 20 booked for next year. The future development will mean a different management structure.
"Les McWade has stood down by mutual agreement after 18 years. He has taken the club as far as he can and now we must move on to the next plane.
"The professional's shop is the integral part of the golf club and the nerve centre of day-to-day operations. A professional is paid a retainer and employs his own staff, but we have decided to take it back and have total control of the facility.
"Our objective is to continue improve the service for our members and visitors."
Rex Osman, the father of former Ipswich Town and England defender Russell, who has worked for the Clarke Demolition Company for some years, will run the shop.
Waldringfield has come a long way in a comparatively short time. By 1987 it has become an 18 hole course and two years ago the impressive new clubhouse was opened.
Now the club, that boasts 650 members, is moving into a new era.