The Isle of Purbeck golf course in Studland is undergoing a million-pound makeover aimed at establishing it as one of the best in the country.
Top golf course manager David Langheim has been hired by course owners David Suruki and Kathy Tatar, and he’s been working with world renowned golf architect Tim Lobb, to completely rejuvenate the course, which overlooks the scenic Poole Harbour in Dorset.
The Isle of Purbeck golf course has spectacular views
“Heathland links masterpiece”
David Langheim said:
“It’s a massively ambitious project with huge scope and potential. We want to create a sort of heathland links masterpiece, to bring back the history and bring this ground to life again.”
They have formulated a five-to-six-year plan that will give the course more of a heathland feel, highlighting its natural beauty. Also, they are overseeding the fairways, improving the greens and the surrounding areas.
The full details of the planned improvements will be unveiled to members towards the end of March 2022.
Owners Kathy Tatar and David Suruki
“Good for the local economy”
Long-term, they are looking at upgrading the irrigation system at a cost of around £750,000. That’s on top of the £600,000 already invested in the club in recent years.
David Langheim said:
“There are a lot of golf courses in the area and lots of golfers come to Dorset especially to play, so we want to be part of that golfing experience.
“That will not only be good for the game, but it will be good for the local economy as well.”
Improvements include overseeding the fairways and improving the greens
David Langheim brings 38 years of experience to the job, previously working at places like Foxhills Golf Club in Surrey and Wimbledon Park.
He is working closely with the third David in the team, David Field, who implements the plans as head greenkeeper and manages the greenstaff.
A new irrigation system could cost round three quarters of a million pounds
Working with the National Trust
With its views across the heathland to Poole Bay, Brownsea Island, Poole, Bournemouth and Sandbanks, the course certainly has an ideal location.
But developing it is not without its problems because it is a site of special scientific interest, which means certain restrictions like not being able to use fertilisers. The team are working closely with landowner The National Trust.
Club co-owners David Suruki and Kathy Tatar took over the Isle of Purbeck course six and a half years ago.
The restaurant at the clubhouse enjoys great views
“Decided it had a lot of potential”
David Suruki, who ran an export business in the United States, bought it from a former business colleague.
“Kathy and I came over to take a look at the course and decided it had a lot of potential. So, we sold up and moved to England. From Los Angeles to Swanage!
“The view is amazing, but I knew it needed a lot of work. It was like buying a house on a great location, but the house and property hadn’t been taken care of.”
The clubhouse bar
They have already made significant improvements and membership is up but the last two years have been hard with Covid and staff shortages. If he thought he was going to improve his handicap by buying his own golf course David was to be disappointed.
“Running a golf club is a full-time job with many aspects that include running a bar and restaurant, golf course, and pro shop. I hope that this year, I will find more time to enjoy the game!”
Golf carts parked outside the clubhouse, ready for action
- More about the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club is on its website