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Heythrop Park expands greens team

Heythrop Park Resort near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire has increased its course management team for 2015. Steve Cherry, a 25-year career greenkeeping professional who prepared 17 European Tour events under Alex Hay at Woburn, heads the new team as estate manager at the 282-room resort, which features the 7,088 yard Bainbridge Course.

Also recently joined is 34-year old Brett Smith who arrived at Heythrop Park in the final weeks of 2014 as deputy estate manager after spending 14 years at Windmill Village GC in Coventry. With the addition of two new assistant greenkeepers, Tom Coleman and James Rodley, plus recent recruit Ivor Hopkins, Heythrop Park Resort has added five new estate and course management staff since spring 2014. It now has a 10-strong Estate Management team headed by Cherry and Smith, and the new team in charge are bullish about where the resort is headed.

The Tom Mackenzie-designed golf course at Heythrop Park Resort, which winds through the spectacular scenery of the resort’s 440-acre estate, opened in 2009. Named after Thomas Bainbridge who originally landscaped Heythrop Park in 1706, the well-drained course has several stand-out signature holes and highly undulating greens.

Cherry commented, “Heythrop Park can surely now be classified as one of the UK’s highest-quality ‘stay and play’ venues. Our greens are superb now, but by May of this year we’ll be in a position to invite golfers to judge us against anything in the South of England. With a clear fine turf focus we have already brought the estate up several levels in condition in the latter part of 2014. Renovation projects have been extensive including tee work and bunkering, and of course our predominately fescue greens have received a great deal of attention. Undeniably, they are now superb putting surfaces.”