In 1990, when Phil and Steve McKie were running a successful engineering business and happened to own several acres of woodland and quarry (now occupied by the two storey clubhouse that sits proudly overlooking the course), Phil was talking to a neighbour who was considering using his 120 acres of land, adjacent to theirs, to build a golf course. Discussions continued and, despite being non-golfers, they offered to become partners in the project, only to find that development was an arduous process which resulted in Phil’s neighbour withdrawing from the team, leaving Phil and Steve to continue with the plans. “If we knew what we were getting into we may have thought twice” said Steve.
However, on they went, and with a young Golf Course Architect called Steve Marnoch designing the course, it soon became clear that they had made the right decision. The original turf farm that makes up part of the course had really good grasses, mainly fescue, and the remaining land was undulating farmland that had only one really steep uphill climb, and with most of the course having a sandstone base it drained quite well.
Along with these assets Steve Marnoch cleverly used the natural lie of the land to create his course, shaping the fairways around the clusters of mature trees that stood on the site and bringing into play no fewer than eight ponds, without the need to introduce water carries as many of the modern day designers do, and despite the course’s natural ability to drain itself a comprehensive drainage system was installed. Add that fact to the thousands of young trees that have been planted and the continuing improvements to facilities on and off the course, and you will see that Phil and Steve’s determination not to shirk on investment is no idle shout.
In 1994, as Blundells Hill Golf Course neared completion, Phil McKie was quoted as saying “Though I am not a golfer myself, I know how important your follow through is when driving the ball and you could say the same about our business. It is the follow through that will make us successful. We have a reputation for top-quality service, which takes the long term view into account, and we will run this golf club with the same high standards.” Blundells Hill now stands as a fine symbol to those words, having become one of the most popular courses in the North West due to both the standard of the course and the friendly clubhouse staff.
Comments have been made that Blundells Hill is short, but nobody has destroyed it yet, and you need to be accurate from tee to green on almost every hole if you are not to be punished. Once on the greens your concentration needs to be at its highest to read the correct lines, or three putts will become the norm for you, and remember … it is still a relatively new course that, as the young trees mature, will get harder each year and the already tough demands on accuracy will become greater. You have been warned!