Five-Year Rolling Improvement Plan 2017-22

2017-2022 (The Club’s 50th Anniversary)

 Introduction & History

Badgemore Park Golf Club was formed and founded in 1972 on the former estate of the McAlpine and Vlasto families. Golf course architect, Robert Sandow, was appointed to design the course which opened for play in the summer of 1972. The layout was cleverly designed to make the most of the beautiful site located in the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The resultant 18 holes have become a well-manicured parkland course which challenges golfers of all standards. The course tests every aspect of a player’s skills not least their course management. It offers a range of short and long holes which rely heavily on the player thinking their way around, strategically placing their tee shots to give the ideal angle for their second shot.

The course is a par 69 measuring 6129 yards from the white tees and a par 72 measuring 5569 yards from the red tees. The current course is arranged in two loops of nine holes with the 9th and 18th greens returning to the clubhouse. In addition to the 1st and 10th tees, the 8th, 16th and 17th tees are all located close to the clubhouse should a multi-tee start be required. The course has a good mix of long and short Par 4s, four demanding Par 3s and one Par 5 that offers a great chance of improving your score to par.

The current owners purchased the club in June 1997 and have invested heavily in developing the whole facility for the enjoyment of members and visitors alike. The investments include a state of the art irrigation system, dedicated greenkeeping compound, and in 2013 Ken Moodie, of Creative Golf Design, was appointed to undertake a strategic course review to see how each hole could be improved.

The owners, management and members should be proud of the progress made over the years, especially in the quest to make Badgemore Park the “Club of Choice” in the area.

However, the desire to improve is never satisfied. Each and every year the club will continue to improve the facilities it has to offer. This will explain in detail the areas in which the club intends to implement significant enhancements over the next 5 years. This will primarily be achieved by investing further in making improvements to four key areas:

  1. Clubhouse & Surrounds
  2. Practice Facilities & Swing Room
  3. Staff Training & Team Development
  4. Golf Course


The aim is to accomplish upgrades in all these areas whilst retaining the ethos of being a friendly member-orientated club; in touch with modern trends, not afraid to move with the times but committed to retaining the best traditions which the wonderful game of golf offers.

In 2022 the club will celebrate its 50th (Golden) Anniversary, a momentous year in the club’s history and this document details the improvements the club would like to try to achieve gradually over the next 5 years. It is a working document that is subject to change as time moves forward and new ideas develop.

Incorporating significant feedback from club committees, the wider membership and staff, a thorough appraisal of the four key areas was carried out by Jon Connell, Managing Director; Dan Hawkins, Assistant General Manager; and Lindsay Anderson, Course Manager.

The work highlighted is in addition to the annual maintenance works carried out by Lindsay Anderson and his greenkeeping team.


  1. Clubhouse & Surrounds

Whilst most of the investment by the current owners has been undertaken on the course, the clubhouse has also benefited from considerable enhancement, most recently through the installation of the lift to the first-floor Fairway Suite, the Pro-shop and Fairway Suite refurbishment and the sales office upgrade currently taking place. Our aim is to continue to grow the reputation the club now enjoys as an excellent hospitality venue for member events, lunches, dinners and functions.


There is a constant need to modernise the décor in the clubhouse to give a warm yet professional welcome to the club. Upgrades to the general internal and patio furniture will continue through the five year plan.

Internal decoration is an annual task, which in year one will concentrate on refreshing the sales office with new flooring, decoration, storage and customer seating to promote a more open, modern, welcoming and professional feel.

Specific areas that will be concentrated on over the next five years include:

Bars – The bars will be refurbished and redesigned to give a more modern and classy feel while allowing a more efficient service to all customers. Old fixtures will be removed and will be replaced by new beer pumps and wine displays.

Coach House – The Coach House has recently had new tables and furniture installed and this will be backed up with the removal of the honours boards to different areas of the clubhouse and in due course new carpets will be installed.

Fairway Suite – The Fairway Suite was decorated in 2016. Additional finishing touches to complete the upgrade to this room will include new carpet and light fittings.

Spike Bar – Spike Bar furniture will be reviewed and replaced where necessary.

Pro-shop – Significant investment in the Pro-shop occurred in 2015/16 to improve the look and layout of the stock with new gondolas and merchandising stands. The next stage for the Pro-shop will be the installation of a swing room. Plans for this exciting project can be found in section 2 of this document.

Kitchen equipment – This is assessed annually and improvements/replacement will occur when necessary.



As part of the 5 Year Plan we need to consider what external aesthetic enhancements should be undertaken in addition to the annual purchase of hanging baskets and making sure our garden areas are always in pristine condition.

Driveway Entrance – This area is planned to be re-surfaced and by the end of the 5 year plan we hope to have installed a new, more appealing walled/gated entrance which will hopefully form a grander sense of arrival at the Club. These works will be subject to obtaining the necessary planning permissions.

Car Park – Significant resurfacing, pothole repair and line painting will be necessary within the plan

Patio Areas – Furniture on our existing patio areas will be replaced and added to as and when necessary.

Shoe-cleaning Area – We will undertake a review of both the shoe-cleaning area and path from the 18th hole to ensure both these areas are not unsightly but instead create the right lasting impression. An enhanced shoe and trolley cleaning area will hopefully evolve which include improved air-cleaning equipment and larger steel grids for ease of use.

Captains’ Parking – We will look to enhance this area in the run-up to our 50th Anniversary.


  1. Practice Facilities & Swing Room

The Club’s long-game practice facilities are limited by a lack of space. However, there is room to significantly improve the short-game practice facilities. The desire is to create academy-standard short-game practice areas so that the club becomes known for having one of the best short-game practice areas in the locality.

Ideally, a variety of dedicated short-game practice areas will be created including bunker practice, chipping and pitching areas and a new large undulating putting green. This will be located at the back of the Halfway Hut close to the 1st tee. The green will be full of undulation creating interest and variety to the type of putts you can practise. It is hoped it will be large enough to have about 18 pins. A new large green that caters for all types of chip and pitch shots as well as bunker practice will also be created at the back of the existing 9th green.

We also wish to enhance the warm-up area by adding two further warm-up nets so that we have four bays.

Our final wish is to enhance the teaching and club fitting services at the club by building a first-class indoor swing room on the site of the Pro-shop conservatory. Planning permission for this project will need to be obtained. Once completed, the swing room will have state of the art technology, including swing analysis and launch monitors which measure the ball’s spin, distance and height. Furthermore, tracking of the clubhead including measurements of the path, angle of attack, and the angle of the face at impact will be part of the service. The swing room will also have the latest simulator installed which will allow us to host fun member events playing any course in the world!


  1. Staff Training & Team Development

Badgemore Park aims to provide excellent careers in an exciting, positive, and safe working environment. Further actions have been identified to enhance HR practices and service standards at the Club, including;

  • Develop the new staff induction process with additional mandatory online training courses prior to first shift.
  • All staff to undertake further customer service training.
  • Annual staff appraisals and job description reviews.
  • Identify training required to encourage career and team development within the Club enabling excellent staff satisfaction and retention.
  • Review and implement new staff handbook with revised ‘standard operating procedures’.
  • Improve staff knowledge of all aspects of the business. Each department should be able to answer simple questions relating to other departments.
  • Ensure staff uniforms are worn and are kept looking smart and consistent.


  1. Golf Course

In 2013 Ken Moodie, from Creative Golf Design, was appointed to undertake a proposal for course improvement. The program of improvement from that report commenced in 2013 and continues to the present day. Over the last four years the hole improvement recommendations have been implemented on 14 of the 18 holes and have included complete renovation and re-siting of all bunkers, re-shaping of several fairways and greens and installation of new teeing areas to a number of holes. Completing the hole-by-hole improvements for the final 4 holes will be at the forefront of this next 5 year plan.

In 2004 installation of a fully automated Rainbird irrigation system to all greens, tees, approaches and fairways was undertaken by contractors OCMIS. As a direct result of this investment Badgemore Park’s reputation for producing quality playing surfaces for golfers of all abilities to enjoy all year round has grown considerably. Many of the greenkeeping practices that produce the fine turf areas, such as significant top dressing to the greens and continuous aeration, will remain as standard practice.

Key points

To improve course appearance, playability, interest and safety.

To further enhance the character of the course.

To redefine the areas in need of cutting, thereby easing workload.

To adopt “best practice” to improve course maintenance.

Specific amendments:

Reduce cutting height on fairways to 15mm and cross-cut through the season.

Reduce cutting height on aprons and tees to 10mm.

Reduce cutting height in semi-rough.

Reduce cutting height in rough.

Improve quality to green surrounds & mounding around the refurbished bunkering so that these areas reach the same standard as the aprons.

Install extra drainage where needed.



Over the last few years in addition to creating new run-off areas and generally taking the areas of semi-rough away from the green surrounds to create finer turf so that a variety of short-game shots can be played, a policy has been in place to enlarge the putting surfaces wherever possible. In addition to constantly reviewing the mowing practices of each fairway the green enlargement policy will continue.



In recent years certain holes have either had new tees installed or had existing tees enlarged and refurbished. Since 2013 improvements have occurred at holes 3, 4, 6, and 12. Further significant tee improvements will take place over the next five years and details about which holes are to be given priority can be found in the hole-by- hole analysis later in this document.

In addition to the tee renovation works the distances from tee to fairway are reviewed annually and reduced where it is felt the carry becomes excessive.



Alongside the bunker works, the fairways have been re-shaped and we now enjoy a reputation of fairness where the course rewards a well-struck shot, is not too narrow and penal for high handicappers, and bunkers and other hazards are placed at distances and in positions that test the best. This will continue to be developed until all 18 holes have completed the specific Creative Golf course improvement recommendations.



The Club benefits from many varieties of wildlife living within our ecologically diverse environment and one of the main aims of this new 5 Year plan is to enhance the club’s ecological reputation. Enhancements, particularly through woodland management and the installation of an additional pond on the 18th hole and a sympathetic attitude to the use of fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides have always been part of the club strategy but our desire is to create further biodiversity over the next 5 years and beyond.

 Woodland Management

Woodland management is an important task that needs constant review. A number of the original mature woodland copses are of a similar age which is not ideal. However, the age profile was significantly enhanced at the beginning of the millennium when over 4,000 new indigenous trees were planted around the course.

Having a variety in the age of trees as well as a variety in the types of trees planted as part of the C.G.C.I.R. being implemented is good woodland management. Discussions with South Oxfordshire tree officer always take place in the run-up to any tree being removed so the result is a net gain both in numbers, types and age of trees following any specific hole-improvement works.


Having strategically placed bunkers is an essential element in the make-up and canvas of any club and hole. Bunkers provide a strong visual impact on the course and for many players dictate their shot choice.

Badgemore Park has significant but not excessive bunkering which has been a major focus of the course improvements since 2013. The intention is to completely renovate the remaining bunkers on holes 1, 5, 16 and to take out the bunker on hole 18 and replace it with a pond that will create a finishing hole full of drama. A variety of bunker sizes and shapes has been adopted when carrying out the renovation work, thereby giving each hole its own character whilst retaining consistency of sand and lining.


Path Network

The path network is an essential part of winter golf at the club. The existing network (1700 meters) will be refurbished where necessary and extended in persistently muddy areas to keep buggy access to the course available as much as possible, particularly during the winter months.



Overall, when considering the improvements to the golf course, we have striven to make the experience a fair one whereby a poorly struck shot is penalised yet the player may, in most cases, recover the ball and secure the opportunity to choose between risk and reward.

A quote from Creative Golf in 2013 read:

“The strategy of the golf course is the soul of the game. The spirit of golf is to dare a hazard, and by negotiating it reap a reward, while he/she who fears or declines the issue of a carry, has a longer or harder shot for his/her second, or his/her second and third on long holes; yet the player who avoids the unwise effort gains advantage over one who tries for more than in him/her lies, or who fails under the test. ”

We believe that the proposed improvements will both add to the enjoyment for golfers of all standards whilst embodying the spirit of the Game. Course conditions greatly influence the playability of any course and we believe that the measures outlined will enhance the playing surfaces on a year-round basis.

During our assessment, we have considered the effect any changes will have on safety. Access and egress from tees have been carefully assessed and where sleeper steps are in place the treads are all to be treated with a slip-resistant surface.



The principal areas considered for greenkeeping & course maintenance improvement are:

  • Complete all the Creative Golf course improvement recommendations (C.G.C.I.R.) from the August 2013 report.


  • Fine turf areas will continue to be developed through top dressing, aeration and revised mowing regimes.


  • Ecological enhancement through the creation of new and development of existing bio-diversified habitats and woodland management.


  • Selective tree removal and canopy raising throughout to widen the feel of holes, aid air circulation and to allow more sunlight to the grasses beneath the trees.


  • Improve Safety by continuing to roll-out of “grip clad” on treads of sleeper steps.


  • Develop sward density to allow improved definition between approach, fairway, semi-rough and rough areas. This will also soften the bounce and enhance visual appeal.


  • Complete the renovation of all bunkers creating excellent drainage, stone-free bunkers and consistency of sand.


  • Enhance and refurbish the path network to particularly help winter golf.


  • Create new and re-level existing teeing areas to selected holes.


  • Annually invest in new machinery so that the club’s fleet develops.


Hole-by-Hole Works Analysis & Proposals

Front 9

Hole 1:

  • Improve the area by the first tee to enhance first impressions.
  • Tidy and enhance shrubbery between 1st & 10th tee area.
  • As the trees between 1st & 10th holes continue to grow remove weaker specimens to allow better specimens to mature.
  • Refurbish and straighten path to run alongside the hedge.
  • Install new green to slightly lengthen hole and construct greenside bunkers as per Creative Golf Course Improvement Recommendations (C.G.C.I.R.)
  • Install new fairway bunker left-hand side as per C.G.C.I.R.
  • Remove existing bunker right-hand side and reshape fairway accordingly.
  • Thin Leylandii trees right-hand side to allow indigenous trees to flourish.
  • Enlarge existing green by one width of mower.


Hole 2:

  • Install new tee complex to slightly lengthen hole as per C.G.C.I.R.
  • Consider new fairway bunker at landing distance from tee shot.
  • Improve drainage of green particularly in middle & back left.


Hole 3:

  • Refurbish path from tee & improve drainage.
  • Improve drainage at corner of dog-leg & towards green.
  • Remove small silver birch short of mound left-hand side.
  • Widen second part of fairway over the mound & re-align slightly on the left-hand side.
  • Remove shrub towards green on left-hand side now plantation area is mature.
  • Enlarge existing green by one width of mower.


Hole 4:

  • Following new bunkering installation continue reshaping fairway.
  • Remove weaker specimens left-hand side of green to allow better specimens to mature.
  • Refurbish path from green to 5th


Hole 5:

  • Construct new green further back to lengthen the hole & install greenside bunkers as C.G.C.I.R.
  • Remove existing greenside bunkers & create hollow as per C.G.C.I.R.
  • Reposition fairway bunkers, left & right-hand side as per C.G.C.I.R.
  • Extend ladies’ tee as per C.G.C.I.R.
  • Remove several trees left-hand side to widen gap to new green as per C.G.C.I.R.


Hole 6:

  • Enlarge existing green towards new bunker.
  • Enlarge apron in to new swale right-hand side.
  • Prune & thin-out trees at the back of new enlarged tee.
  • Refurbish path from green to 7th


Hole 7:

  • Construct a more central tee box for all markers.
  • Level left-hand side of green.


Hole 8:

  • Construct new men’s tee complex including enlarging white tee area considerably.
  • Consider moving ladies’ tee to the left.
  • Refurbish path at tee.
  • Continue to widen fairway at driving distance.
  • Enlarge existing green by one width of mower.


Hole 9:

  • Enlarge fairway at landing area both sides by installing additional drainage, topsoil to level out & turf.
  • Improve quality of turf greenside bunker area.
  • Raise canopies in copses.
  • Extend front of green.


Back 9

Hole 10:

  • Lessen laurel & scrub right-hand side short of green.
  • Widen teaching area fairway.

Hole 11:

  • Refurbish path at tee.
  • Raise canopies in copses right-hand side.
  • Enlarge existing green by one width of mower.
  • Consider installing path from green to 12th


Hole 12:

  • Improve green’s drainage through middle and bottom left-hand side.
  • Consider installing path from 11th green to 12th
  • Continue to tidy boundary scrub.
  • Improve quality of turf around greenside bunker/tree.


Hole 13:

  • Construct new tee complex for all markers.
  • Install more drainage to green.
  • Consider installing permanent fun tee between line of Scots pines.
  • Plant more bulbs behind green & undertake boundary-line tree pruning.


Hole 14:

  • Refurbish path at tee.
  • Consider enlarging white tee.
  • Improve drainage to left-hand side of green.
  • Enlarge green to the left, bring green side bunker closer.
  • Undertake additional planting to back of 15th


Hole 15:

  • Improve hollows left hand side in semi-rough.
  • Install drainage into apron.
  • Raise canopies in copses.


Hole 16:

  • Refurbish greenside bunker as per C.G.C.I.R. & reshape green entrance away from the Horse Chestnut tree.
  • Keep edge of pond tidy & replant when necessary.


Hole 17:

  • Raise back tee box to improve green visibility.
  • Refurbish path at tee.
  • Remove large laurel left-hand side of 17th between 16th.
  • Enlarge front of green towards left-hand side bunker.


Hole 18:

  • Extend tee at front to incorporate winter tee.
  • Remove tree on right-hand side of the dog-leg.
  • Install new pond in front of the green to create an excellent & dramatic finishing hole.
  • Soften grass bunker left-hand side of green.



The owners have a track record of investing in the club year in year out. The proposals contained within this Five Year Plan will be expensive to achieve, however the Directors are committed to making the investment and by doing so continuing to take the Club forward and grow our reputation both locally and in the wider golfing community.

These are exciting times for the Club and it is hoped that these proposals will be supported wholeheartedly by the membership and that this is demonstrated through your continued patronage.