Winter Hill Golf Club, the Berkshire-based club formerly owned by the John Lewis Partnership, has been taken over on a long-term lease by Get Golfing, the registered charity founded in 2018 whose portfolio of clubs rises to ten on the back of its latest acquisition.
The sale of the long-term lease to Get Golfing comes as part of a series of cost-cutting measures announced by John Lewis earlier this year in response to falling sales at its nationwide chain of department stores and Waitrose supermarkets.
The deal, which is set to be completed on April 28, will see the Cookham-based venue become the tenth club in Get Golfing’s portfolio, all of which – bar Ansty Golf Club in Coventry – are based in the southeast of England, and include Hampton Court Palace, Pyrford, Mill Green, North Downs and Redlibbets Golf & Country Club.
Get Golfing has stated that it plans to invest in both the golf course and the clubhouse at Winter Hill with the intention to make the venue more accessible to a wider section of the community.
Edward Richardson, CEO of Get Golfing, added: “When we first heard about the plans to close the course, sell the land and disband the club, we immediately mobilised, reached out to our contacts and started to engage with John Lewis. They were receptive to our cause and our plans, and we cannot thank them enough for their support.”
The news of the takeover comes as a great relief to members of the club, which was originally set to close at the end of March but will now remain open under its new leaseholders.
Jane Ohlenschlager, captain of Winter Hill’s ladies’ team, commented: “We are delighted for all of the members at the club. Winter Hill means a lot to us and we are thrilled with this outcome. Get Golfing has a strong track record. We’ve also spoken with members of other Get Golfing clubs and can see they’re firmly committed to the game. We’re also on the same page when it comes to involving the community. With their management and our passionate support for our club and its membership, we’re really excited about our future and the potential to make even more of a positive local impact.”