North East golf course in best condition in UK and Europe
THE Mercure George Washington Hotel has topped over 300 UK and European golf courses for the outstanding condition of its course.
The ranking, received this summer, from ‘mystery shoppers’ belonging to the PGA-approved 59 Club, puts it above the likes of big-hitters such as Gleneagles and the Belfry.
And in the battle of American presidents, the George Washington has even trumped Donald Trump’s international golf course as far afield as Dubai.
Rankings for June from the 59 club, a PGA-approved auditing company viewed by the industry as the Gold Standard for measuring excellence in golf, gave the George Washington a huge 94 percent for course condition, putting it ahead of some major household names.
Ian Gray, general manager of the hotel, said: “Getting such a high score from an independent and prestigious body like the 59 Club is a landmark moment for us.
“It reflects huge credit on our head greenkeeper Mark Hornsby and his team.”
For Mark, the recognition vindicates a decade of hard work, lovingly improving the condition of the course.
He said: “From my first day here, almost 10 years ago, my biggest challenge was taking the greens from one inch of root with soil compacted over the years and little or no investment, to where they are now with some 10 inches of root.
“Patience has been the key as Mother Nature will not be rushed and the results have been worth the hard work in all sorts of conditions to get to where we are now.
“It has been a huge sense of achievement for me and my team to hear the members, visitors and team players remarking and complimenting us on the course condition these past few Years – receiving the score of 94% from Club 59 has been the icing on the cake.
“The course itself has always been known regionally as having ‘great potential’; and ‘the best layout in the county’.“However it is only since Mr Chawla took over the hotel that I have had the support and backing to work through the year-on-year improvement using new and innovative agronomist programmes to get to where we are today.”
Bill Michie, golf operations manager at the club, said: “With the significant investment from our owner and the year-on-year improvements made by Mark we now have a course to be proud of and one that has become respected regionally.
“Greens are all that golfers talk about and one of the best forms of advertisement is word of mouth but the 59 Club’s summer review is a massive seal of approval for the George Washington.”
We are grateful to the Northern Echo for covering this story:
Sept 4, 2018Back