Two major golf clubs lose their clubhouses to fires

Two of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world have both seen their clubhouses completely destroyed by fire in recent days.

Beaverbrook Golf Club in the UK and Oakland Hills in the US are both iconic locations.

The Surrey Fire and Rescue Service was called to Beaverbrook but found little could be done to save the burning structure or its basement.

It is not currently known how the fire started, but it did not affect the hotel, spa or restaurant, and no one was injured – but the clubhouse was “significantly damaged”.

Pictures on social media show that few were left.

Jorge de Jesus, group chief executive, said: “I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service for their professional response.”

The venue, on land owned by the late press baron Lord Beaverbrook, is believed to have cost around £90m to build, opening in 2016.

The course was designed by architect David McLay Kidd and eight-time major winner, Tom Watson.

The news comes just days after Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan experienced a similar devastating event.

The club has hosted six US Opens, three PGA Championships and the 2004 Ryder Cup.

Like with Beaverbrook. no one was injured in the fire and the cause is being investigated. The clubhouse, which contained a rich collection of golf memorabilia, was destroyed, although firefighters and club staff were able to salvage some materials.

“There were people standing outside the front door and they were handing things over,” a local fire department spokesman said. “It was quite a long process, but they pulled out what they could.”

Oakland Hills Country Club. Picture from Facebook

Club Chairman Rick Palmer said: “We have lost our iconic clubhouse. It hurts to see this, but we take comfort in knowing that the heart, soul and legacy of the club resides in our members and staff. Only time will tell what lies ahead, but we move forward with the goal of honoring all those who brought this grand building to life with their golf and their work.

The United States Golf Association said it was relieved no one was injured.

“Along with so many other members of the golf community, we have special memories at this legendary venue and look forward to doing more with them in the years to come,” the association said.

About Richard Chandler

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