Basingstoke GC hires PR & digital marketing agencies ahead of summer ‘soft opening’

Golf Business Newsin Golf

Basingstoke Golf Club, one of the most established and long-standing member clubs in Hampshire, has retained the services of leading PR and marketing specialists Azalea to oversee its UK public relations.

The appointment to work with Azalea marks an exciting period for Basingstoke Golf Club, with the venue in the early stages of a major £15 million development programme with the remodelling of its course and the building of new facilities after relocating to a new site in 2021.
Azalea has established itself as one of Europe’s leading golf and tourism agencies since launching in 2006, working with world-class courses, resorts and tourist boards including Wentworth, Apes Hill Barbados, Al Zorah City, Costa Navarino, Quinta do Lago, Trump Turnberry, Exclusive Collection and Madeira Tourist Board.

Digital communications specialists Albatross will also enhance the partnership via its social media and content marketing expertise, supporting the club in its membership communications as it transitions through to a full reopening.

Basingstoke Golf Club first opened for play in 1907 as a nine-hole layout. An 18-hole parkland design –the handiwork of the revered James Braid – followed in 1926 and the club would quickly establish itself as the most prominent members’ club in the area.

In 2021, the club moved to a new location on the outskirts of the town in the beautiful village of Dummer, acquiring the land that was home to Dummer Golf Club, before development on the new 18-hole championship course began last year.

Designed by Weller Designs, the new layout is set to be a playable challenge for all levels of golfer, with sweeping fairways and a number of strategically placed water hazards adding to the test. A soft launch of the championship course – with the opening of nine holes – is scheduled for late June with 18 holes in play towards the end of 2024. A full launch of all facilities is planned for September 2025 to coincide with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Despite the complete rebuild, sustainability will play a key role in the development of the new facilities. Two water lagoons will help to fully irrigate the course, holding a combined 33,500 cubic metres of water. Meanwhile, the implementation of fescue grass and ryegrass will help with wear and tear to keep maintenance work to a minimum.

Azalea will look to increase positive media around the new venue with a carefully planned PR campaign, focusing on the storytelling of numerous club developments – which will include a new, state-of-the-art clubhouse, a driving range packed with ball-tracking technology, as well as a short-game area and putting green. 

A key focus of Azalea’s brief will be engaging with local and national media, while also increasing the visibility of key figures at the club – who continue to be the driving force behind the new project – via connections within the golf trade media. Marketing consultancy and developing value-added partnerships will also form key strands of the working brief.

David Green, general manager of Basingstoke Golf Club, said: “We are excited to partner with Azalea and Albatross to help us tell the story of our club’s transformation and journey to a full reopening in 2025, on our new site after relocating almost three years ago.

“Work is already well underway, with the construction of our clubhouse the centrepiece of what we believe will be one of the best golf venues in the southeast of England. Meanwhile, our new 18-hole championship golf course is shaping up to be a magnificent layout that will rival the very best in the region.

“It is important to note that while Basingstoke Golf Club may have moved, we are very sensitive to our loyal membership, so while we will have a new identity in terms of our location and facilities, along with a completely new golf course, we are dedicated to ensuring the proud story of Basingstoke continues from the roots of the club that were built over 100 years ago.”

Head of content & media at Azalea, Alex Narey, said: “The project unfolding at Basingstoke Golf Club is very exciting and one that Azalea is very proud to be involved in. A soft opening of the course is marked for late June, and it promises to be quite a journey for the club’s members who will play a huge part in a new chapter in its history.”

Albatross founder James Wilkinson added: “Basingstoke is one of the most ambitious golf club build projects in years and I’m delighted Albatross have been chosen alongside Azalea to help tell the world about the exciting plans they have in store.”

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