Introducing our new Director of Golf
30 April 2021 / Golf /
Regulars to The Grove will recognise Brad Gould as a familiar face. He has been with us for 14 years and is celebrating his recent promotion to Director of Golf.
Tell us about your career at The Grove?
Being recently appointed Director of Golf has given me the opportunity to reflect on my time at The Grove. It has been 14 years, but that time has flown by. My first role was within the golf reservations team, and then I moved onto the Tournament Coordinator position. The corporate golf days are such a big part of our business at The Grove that I feel this was the start of my real progression within the business. Having gotten to know so many of our clients through running their events, it was a natural succession to lead to corporate golf sales which expanded into a Golf Manager role in 2017. It was after this that I was promoted to Head of Golf Sales & Operations and this has led me to now.
Working in various capacities within the business has given me important insights that will be of huge benefit as I step into this new leadership role. I’m already a few weeks in, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. The most exciting part now is to continue to build my knowledge base on agronomy and estates and learn from our leaders within these areas of the business. My focus will be ensuring every golfer or hotel guest has a truly memorable experience while with us, and they are playing on a golf course that is always in prime condition. We’ve got a great team to ensure this happens.
What’s it been like since reopening at the end of March?
The golf course has been incredibly busy as customers have been eager to return to our pristine fairways as soon as possible. Our tee sheet has been very busy each day which has been fantastic. It is nice to have the buzz of customers back. It has also been so encouraging to have the golf teams together again, after such a long winter apart. We’ve all been so enthusiastic about re-opening and it has all gone so smoothly, while still maintaining social distancing measures – which is no mean feat when we have been welcoming over 180 golfers each day.
How is the golf course looking going into Summer?
The Grove is in great condition – we continue to receive so many positive comments from our customers – and the work our greenkeeping team completed in the winter, using an all-new maintenance technique, is now paying dividends.
They used a process called DryJect that pumps high-powered bursts of air into the soil creating tiny chambers in each green. These chambers are then almost instantaneously filled with a special sand-based mix that immediately goes to work allowing the greens to hold onto their nutrients for longer. The soil amendment also sucks moisture from the greens, making them drier and firmer to putt on.
We have always been renowned for the quality of our USGA specification putting surfaces and they are in great shape for the 2021 season. Clearly we could use a few less frost delays and a few warmer days to help facilitate some quicker growth, but we are confident that is just around the corner. If golfers want to enjoy the pleasure of playing on tour standard playing surfaces, then they should definitely consider a trip to see us this summer.
Have there been other enhancements away from the golf course?
When our Hotel reopens to guests on May 17, it will unveil one of its largest projects to date – the transformation of all 189 rooms in the West Wing, the lobby and Lounges, all masterminded by award-winning interiors studio, Martin Hulbert Design, who have worked with The Grove since the hotel’s launch in 2003. The work looks amazing and it will firmly establish us as one of the most desirable leisure experiences in the UK, and a perfect base for golfers seeking a luxury short-break in fantastic surroundings.