Back in the swing at Brampton Golf Club

Published on
12 October 2021

Brampton Golf Club has bounced back from its enforced closure during lockdown and says the business is in the best shape it has been for over 25 years.

The scenic club which boasts views over the nearby Talkin Tarn and across the Solway plain has membership levels higher than they have been for decades and is planning further significant investment in its facilities.

It now has over 600 members and is ready to press ahead with its plans to become established as the best heathland golf club in the North.

Operations manager, Jamie Miles, started his job a year ago and says the pandemic has strengthened the club’s bond with its members and the community. He said:

“Golf was one of the first sports to come out of lockdown and it allowed people to get out and do something. I think members appreciated the club more because it had been something that had been taken away from them.

“People came out and fell in love with the game again and it set a tone for a tidal wave of enthusiasm for golf which brought in existing members, lapsed members and people who had not played for a while.”

And he added that membership had gone on to show their support for the club.

“Membership renewal is on the 1st of April and that was a huge concern. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. The club had been growing and building on a few years of success, but that could have gone in an instant. We could have been in a real trouble if 50 per cent of members decided they weren’t going to renew because of Covid, but the members backed us.”

Membership accounts for 80 per cent of income at the club, but its reputation for good food thanks to chef and restaurant manager, Tim Weir, has seen an increasing number of non-golfers coming to the clubhouse. Each week up to 60 Sunday dinners will be for non-golfers, for example.

The club has used a £10,000 Covid recovery grant from the R&A, golf’s governing body, to invest in an all-weather practice area near the club house which will be ready for April. Ambitious plans to open up significant new income streams will be announced soon.

New chairman Paul Styles is pleased the club was able to strengthen its links with the community during the pandemic when it ran its own food hub from the clubhouse.

“We started a food hub every Saturday. Initially it was for members, but we extended it and looked after the local community so people could come and get food orders and takeaways right through the lockdown. It was a safe place to come and everyone had a time slot to ensure they could social distance.”

Now the club is looking to the future with further investment planned to attract more visitors to its picturesque course.

Paul added: “We’ll be investing in facilities. We want to be the best club in the north of England - that is the business plan for the next five years. That means attracting more visitors and getting the name of Brampton out there UK wide.

“We are on the border of Scotland with thousands of people passing our doorstep interested in golf so we need to tap into that. And our reputation for food is second to none in the area - people go and play golf in the north east and come back here to eat.”

A key factor to the club’s resilience during the pandemic and its investment plans is the breadth of business experience it has on its management committee and the support it receives from the Cumberland Building Society with whom it banks.

Paul is managing director at a Manchester-based signs business and adds: “Our committee is very business focused and we have a broad range of skills. There’s no doubt that we wouldn’t be here now without the help and support we’ve had from The Cumberland.”

The Cumberland’s connections with Brampton Golf Club go beyond its financial services. Brand Manager, Phil Ward, is now treasurer.

“The Cumberland has a long association with Brampton Golf Club. Aside from the pleasure its course gives to hundreds of people every week it is a successful, growing business which plays a big part in the local economy.

“Brampton Golf Club is very ambitious and we’re proud to have supported them through the pandemic. Now we’re looking forward to working with them on their exciting plans to expand their revenue streams,” said Phil.