Stoke Park Country Club To Shut For Two Years After Takeover

Stoke Park Country Club To Shut For Two Years After Takeover

Stoke Park Closure
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stoke Park Country Club is set to shut for two years for major restoration work, after Indian tycoon, Mukesh Ambani, bought the property for £57 million.

Stoke Park Country Club To Shut For Two Years After Takeover

Stoke Park Country Club is one of the most recognised clubs in England, appearing in films like Goldfinger and Bridget Jones's Diary.

However, only a month after Mukesh Ambani's £57 million purchase, the club announced that it will close for two years.

The venue, which has over 2,500 members, is set to shut 2nd August 2021, with the golf club and estate shutting on October 18. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2023.

Stoke Park Closure

Sean Connery filming "Goldfinger" at Stoke Park in 1964. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

A spokesman for the club, said: "The new owners of Stoke Park, Reliance Industries Limited, are making a major investment into the estate and are committed to preserving Stoke Park's rich heritage."

With the club spokesman explaining how the club's fifth owner had a "responsibility" to "future proof" the business.

The move has enraged its members, who, due to the Covid pandemic, have not been able to access its 27-hole golf course, as well as its tennis courts, gymnasiums, spa and hotel rooms.

Membership at Stoke Park Country Club is rumoured to cost more than £4,000. Speaking to The Telegraph, multiple members showed their outrage at the closure.

Des Folliard, a former captain who has played at the club for 23 years, said: "It's all up in the air. There's talk of it being made into a private residence. A lot of the golf clubs in the UK are being bought over by very rich people from abroad – it's strange."

Stoke Park Closure

Stoke Park House was designed by James Wyatt in 1788. Part of the surrounding landscape park has been converted into a golf course which forms part of a luxury hotel, spa and country club. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Another member, Phil Slater, added: "A lot of rich people just want their personal plaything. He'll probably come over here for a couple of months a year and have the golf course to himself."

John Lee, a banker from Farnham Common, has had a family membership at the club along with his wife and son for the last five years.

"Closing it for two years is going to lose them members. Some won’t come back because we now have to look for other clubs. There's probably four or five others near where we live, where you can take the family and have fun," he said.

Sue Gaskell has been a member for 21 years and is a former lady captain of the club.

"The letter we received kept saying 'we're delighted, we're delighted' – well, you're shutting the place down! Several people were in tears. There's one girl who lives round the corner who bought the property specifically to play golf here.

"There's rumours going around they'll have an exclusion zone around the mansion so plebs like me can't go in."

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With the course closing its doors for two years, a spokesperson was asked to explain whether Ambani intended to create a private residence: The new owners have been "clear" they will "restore the club to its former glory"

Adding that its members remained the "beating heart" of Stoke Park and they look forward to welcoming them back to share a "glorious future".

He refused to comment on whether membership fees would increase.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.