12 May Tee Time on Wentworth but will it be a Chai latte rather than Earl Grey?
May 21st – 24th 2015 will see the 86th PGA tour swing into action at Wentworth, Surrey. Owned by infamous restaurateur Richard Caring until last year, Wentworth now has new masters in the Chinese-based Reignwood Group, who thus far have made little change to this long established country club.
Visitors will flock in their thousands to the beautifully groomed fairways to watch the crème de la crème play golf this May. Wentworth is reputedly one of the most exciting courses in the UK and for keen golfing voyeurs the ticket price of just £36 is great value for a day out – particularly for a family as under 16’s enter for free.
Golfers at Wentworth are treading in the footsteps of some of the game’s greatest players of all time – legends such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Steve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Sir Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods. Last year’s champion golfer, Rory McIlroy, will be hoping to retain his title as the golfing greats battle for victory over three days of intense play later this month.
The European Tour’s flagship event once upon a time rotated on several of Britain’s finest courses, Wentworth being among them, but in 1984 it returned to the West Course at Wentworth and never left.
Local resident and businessman, James Wyatt, runs prime estate agency Barton Wyatt, on the picturesque shopping parade in Virginia Water, which abuts Wentworth. James describes the buzz that comes with PGA week:
“I’ve lived in Virginia Water for almost 50 years and never tire of the sporting season. The PGA Tour is a highlight for us locals, it adds drama and glamour to our village and creates a fantastic atmosphere as hordes of golf fans descend upon the area.
“Wentworth is quite unique and must be seen to be believed. The tree-lined fairways twist and turn around vast rhododendron displays and behind these you get the occasional glimpse of staggeringly large homes. The houses that have access directly onto the course are highly sought after and command eye watering price tags.”
There are several palatial mansions being built on the course at the moment and visitors will be sure to gasp at the enormity of some of the homes that are currently under construction.
“We’re expecting to have a couple of homes sold at the £25-30 million mark this year but whether they actually ever reach the open market remains to be seen. These types of houses will almost definitely be sold in a highly discreet, off-market fashion.”
When asked about the likelihood of Chinese property buyers James explains,
“I would be surprised for a pad that size. These monster mansions tend to attract Russian and Middle Eastern buyers looking for an impressive way to display their wealth. The Chinese buyers that we have worked with over the years tend to opt for more subtle homes – smaller English style homes.
“We’ve been waiting for an influx of Chinese buyers after the purchase of Wentworth by Reignwood, and indeed we saw quite a few enquiries soon after the transaction, but not many have actually bought.” He laughs: “But I did notice that Asian duck and noodle salad has hit the menu in the club house – which is marvellous as I love Chinese food!”