Centurion Club ready to open its gates

PUBLISHED: 11:33 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:33 27 June 2013

The 17th at the Centurion Club. Picture by Kevin Murray

The 17th at the Centurion Club. Picture by Kevin Murray

www.kevinmurraygolfphotography.com

A “WORLD CLASS” golf course is preparing to open its gates.

The Centurion Club opens for its members on July 1. Picture by Kevin MurrayThe Centurion Club opens for its members on July 1. Picture by Kevin Murray

After three years of construction, the Centurion Club, located between St Albans and Leverstock Green, welcomes members for the first time on Monday (July 1).

Built to the “highest specification” possible among the rolling hills of the Hertfordshire countryside, the club has received rave reviews from professional golfers and industry experts ahead of its opening.

Neil Gray, director of Golf Marketing Services (GMS), the PR agency in charge of the Centurion Club, believes the owners – PGA professional Scott Evans, Graham Wildish and Bert Pronk – have built one of the best golf courses in the country.

“With any golf course you have physical restrictions in the land so all you can strive for is the best course from the budget you have,” he explained.

“In this case it was, ‘If you want something moved it can be’ to create the best course possible.

“The contours, shaping, the run-off areas and the natural flow of the course are key to that. On a course that has been created, every hole looks like it’s meant to be there; it doesn’t look forced and it all sits naturally in the environment. That is one of the biggest triumphs.

“GMS has worked on a lot of courses in the UK and Centurion Club would have been opened a year ago, but because of where we’re pitching it and what we’re trying to do, it’s been held back until now.”

Designed by architect Simon Gidman, with the help of Evans, Centurion Club has been created to fill a void in the high-end of north London’s golf market; the £6,000 sign-on fee for members is testament to that. But with £60,000 greens and a £1m irrigation system, no expense has been spared in creating the best course possible.

“The course design is a collaboration between Simon and Scott. Scott has worked at some of the very best courses around the world and drawn the best bits from each of those into this project,” said Gray, who added the best endorsement he could give the course is that is “fun.

“The course has been designed for members to have a lot of fun. Players don’t want to be beaten up, lose 12 balls and never want to play the game again, but on the flip side good golfers want to be challenged.”

The ninth, a 492-yard par-5, for example, features a wide fairway that narrows as it gets closer to the green. Casual golfers can tee off to the wide section of the fairway, whereas better players, looking to reach the green in two shots, will need to be accurate due to a narrower fairway flanked by water and a bunker.

This is the “risk and reward” dynamic at play.

“The course is a puzzle rather that just tees and holes,” Gray told the Herts Ad.

“It has been designed to challenge golfers of all levels. It is genuinely very rewarding; I haven’t played any courses that are more fun.”

One of the most exciting aspects of the club’s opening is the owners’ vision to host top-level competitions in the future, giving Hertfordshire residents the chance to the see the best golfers in the world.

“The course has been designed [to host competitions] but at a time when we’re ready. When you invite in TV crews and the world you want to be at your pristine best. We’re only part way there.

“But it is hugely exciting. There are few chances to see the world’s best golfers but the Centurion Club offers the perfect stadium for it with natural viewing around the course.”

For more information about the Centurion Club and how to become a member, visit www.centruionclub.co.uk or call 01442 510520.


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