Green Circle Estates has hired International Design Group to remodel the golf facilities at Allerton Manor Golf Club in Liverpool, England – previously owned by the city – as part of a £20 million transformation.
In 2015, the management of Allerton Manor was taken over by Green Circle Estates, developer and former owner-operator of nearby Formby Hall Golf Club. Green Circle Estates brought in IDG – who designed the par-three course at Formby Hall – to reconfigure the 18 and nine-hole courses at Allerton Manor into one championship-length layout.
“The existing golf course and supporting facilities had fallen in disrepair, following decades of under-investment as a municipal facility,” said Andrew Craven, group director of IDG. “With many pressures on Liverpool city council’s budget, investment into golf courses was not seen as a major priority, this resulted in a degrading facility. Allerton Manor had once supported 55,000 rounds of golf a year – a European record – which dived down to approximately 15,000 rounds in 2013.”
The first phase of course improvement works which has already been completed, saw minor course works such as the raising of tees and works on problem areas. The dilapidated Grade II-listed clubhouse was closed to allow a full refurbishment with a courtyard extension to provide a new clubhouse, golf shop, bar and restaurant, and function suite with a terrace overlooking the eighteenth green. Following these initial improvement works completed in phase one, rounds have already shot up to 35,000 a year,” said Craven.
Green Circle has invested over £5 million in the delivery of initial improvements to Allerton Manor’s golf and leisure offering, creating 100 jobs. A further £15 million investment is now being proposed to deliver a master plan vision that will create a further 150 jobs.
“For the second phase of work, a clear decision was taken to increase the existing par 67 golf course to a par 71, in line with the PGA Design Consulting’s (PGADC) safety guidelines and remove the nine-hole layout,” said Craven. “Allerton Manor’s golf course, much like most UK golf courses, was failing to engage with younger golfers – a systemic problem in British golf.
“The decision was taken to introduce two key facilities to the golf estate to increase the social mobility of the sport to youngsters, a fit-for-purpose driving range and an adventure golf course. Again, the driving range adheres to PGADC guidelines and provide 20 floodlit bays suitable for individuals and teaching groups. A much-needed grass tee has also added options for summer months.
“The adventure golf course adjacent to the new golf pavilion will be an 18-hole all-weather putting course influenced by the design of some of the greatest golf holes from Liverpool’s famous golf coast. Green Circle see this facility as being of particular importance, not only will it be commercially successful in its own right, but to act as an incubator for many children as they get their very first chance to give golf a go without any specialist training equipment and at a price they can afford.”
According to Craven, full golf course works will begin this winter should planning approval be granted by the city council.
Georgia Ball, a golf professional at Allerton Manor, said: “We want to offer opportunities to everyone who is potentially excluded from sport and outdoor recreation including younger children – especially girls – and disability groups. ‘Golf for All’ is not a slogan, it’s a passion.”
As part of the transformation of Allerton Manor, the Grade II-listed, formerly derelict and at risk of collapse Manor House is being restored and converted to create a 31-bed boutique hotel with function and events space, and spa. Also, Green Circle is implementing a state-of-the-art golf pavilion with pro shop, restaurant, changing facilities and video teaching rooms.
The proposed works will be delivered in multiple phases with a target date for the completion of all work at the club is 2024.