My success story: Colin Bee completes a clubhouse renovation

20180829_161614Outside of renovations to the course, one of the biggest things a club can do is alter their clubhouse. Or, in the case of Coxmoor, knock it down entirely as Managing Secretary Colin Bee explains

It’s a quirk of architecture that some buildings aren’t meant to last – and yet they endure.

The prefab homes built after the Second World War were supposed to be temporary and yet some are still going strong today. When Coxmoor’s new clubhouse was unveiled in 1961 it wasn’t, says secretary Colin Bee, designed to stand the test of time.

But the best part of 60 years on, it is still standing. That is, at least, until January.

For after nearly 20 years of trying, of meetings and numerous committees trying to bring it to fruition, the club will unveil their new two-storey facility and the wrecking ball will move in to render the old one to rubble.

“It’s been a long process but the people who are still heavily involved were the ones who started the (current) ball rolling three or four years ago,” said managing secretary Colin Bee.

“Our new clubhouse will have a large balcony around the outside. There will be a spike bar, with all the changing facilities and the club offices downstairs.

“Upstairs, there’s a full kitchen with a separate meeting room and a very large open plan dining area and lounge.”

Coxmoor is part of a golden triangle of superb heathland courses in the Nottinghamshire area that also includes the renowned Hollinwell and Sherwood Forest.

But while those two very traditional clubs can boast magnificent buildings to match the splendour of their courses, this was something Bee, his team, and the membership at Coxmoor, lacked.

So when the plans for the new building came up in front of the club’s stalwarts – following a number of discussions and having explored the option of refurbishing the existing facility – they were received enthusiastically.

Bee explained: “We went to vote in April last year and there was a large turnout of 500-odd people.

“Around 87 per cent of the membership voted in favour of the new build. We got it through and we’ve put in quite a lot of our own money. We’ve raised quite a bit through lifetime memberships and we’ve borrowed the rest. We’ll start paying it back shortly – £1.5 million.”

There have had to be compromises, of course, with building work largely carried out during a blisteringly-hot summer.

It has also been a busy season that has seen Coxmoor host the English Senior Men’s Open Amateur Championship with Sherwood Forest in June, along with a host of big golf days, and they had to install showers in an office and turn the old committee room into a changing room.

“I wouldn’t say it has been easy at times but, with the efforts of all the staff, everything has gone very well,” Bee added.

“We’re all looking forward to moving into the new place. It’s going to make a massive difference because it’s going to be state-of-the-art new facilities and better organised.

“Golf clubhouses tend to start at one size and you get add-ons, and you get little rooms and you get around corner positions. This will be a big open plan modern building and it will make a difference.

“We can promote the club to outside people wanting to hire rooms. We don’t really do that at the moment. We’re a members’ facility with the view of being able to cater for large societies. We’ve got a large membership and so we believe it will work very well.”

The grand plan is to open the new clubhouse on New Year’s Eve and, in place of the old, will be a new practice putting green as the club continues to develop their on-course facilities.

Bee explained: “There will be a few dummy runs in December with staff and invited people coming to have meals and to test out the new clubhouse.

“It will be fully operational from New Year’s Day and the existing clubhouse will then be shut down and we’ll start the process of demolishing it.

“That will be done in January and then work will start on shaping the new putting green. That will be done by an outside contractor, who will carry out the shaping and the landscaping.  Hopefully, by this time next year, it’s going to be operational.”

And while Coxmoor members will get to see it and enjoy it first, GCMA members won’t be too far behind as Coxmoor will host the association Annual General Meeting on April 15, next year. “It’s nice to showcase the place,” Bee declared.

“We’ve got a golf course that sells itself, in a sense. It’s a very good course and the only thing lacking was the clubhouse, which will now be quite special. It’s going to be a unique building.”

By Marie J. Taylor

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