The De Vere Group has been awarded the management contract to operate the iconic Ryder cup venue, The Belfry, following its acquisition by American private equity firm KSL Capital Partners.
The Belfry is set in 500 acres of tranquil English countryside and was previously owned by De Vere until its sale in 2005. The resort comprises two championship golf courses, The PGA National and The Brabazon – the world’s only four-time host of the Ryder Cup – and is home to the PGA National Golf Academy and another 18-hole course, The Derby.
The management contract was announced after the Belfry’s acquisition by an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners LLC, an American investment firm specialising in travel and leisure businesses.
The Belfry is now poised for a comprehensive renovation in order to enhance its overall guest experience and re-establish itself as one of Europe’s leading deluxe hotel, conference, golf and spa destinations.
Public areas, guest rooms, dining outlets and meeting spaces will all be refurbished but, given the unique and expansive nature of The Belfry, the resort will remain open during the revamp.
The Belfry will sit within the De Vere Hotels portfolio and will undoubtedly enhance De Vere’s golfing facilities, currently made up of 11 golf resorts and 16 championship golf courses.
“We are delighted to have secured the management contract at the Belfry. De Vere and The Belfry have a proud history together and share a golfing heritage,” said andrew Coppel, Group Chief Executive of De Vere.
“The PGA is wholly supportive of these new arrangements, again further consolidating our strong relationship with them at this location. We look forward to working with KSL Capital Partners and re-establishing The Belfry as one of Europe’s premier destinations.”
A number of former Ryder Cup players, including Colin Montgomery, Ian Woosnam and Bernard Gallacher have welcomed the move to award De Vere – who has a long-standing tradition with hosting leading tournaments throughout its portfolio of golf resorts – the Belfry contract.
“It’s a great move by the new owners to bring De Vere back to manage the Belfry again as I am sure they will raise the standard of both the hotel and the courses,” said Woosnam, whose views were shared by European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady.
“The Belfry and De Vere brands share great heritage in European golf and are synonymous with four outstanding Ryder Cup matches. I am sure this renewed partnership will provide a successful one for all parties,” he said.
Daniel Hodson, De Vere’s Director of Golf, added: “To add such a centrally located, prestigious venue to the group will add considerable momentum to our golf and leisure proposition.”