Burghley Park Golf Club’s first ever course manager is promising improvements to the 18-hole course at Stamford to reflect its superb setting within the grounds of Burghley House.
Paul Mills (35), who is an R&A scholar and has helped prepare courses for tournaments all over the world, started his new role this month (January 2017) and has more than 135 acres to look after.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be appointed as the course manager at Burghley Park. With its historic parkland setting, all the beauty is here - it just needs to be uncovered and developed. I want the course to reflect its setting in the same way that the parkland reflects the elegance of Burghley House.”
Paul’s decision to uproot from the Midlands and make Stamford his new home was made easier by the vision for the future of the club.
He added: “It was so refreshing, particularly at a members’ club to find a management team with the vision that is here at Burghley Park. Their vision means the members’ future is secure. There are a lot of golf clubs that can’t say the same. Not only is it secure, the future for the course and for the club is really exciting and I’m delighted to be playing a part in it.
“Golf generally is facing a difficult future and it’s very unusual in a private members’ club to see such a set of excellent objectives. I have great faith that their determination to succeed means that we can achieve it.”
Paul is also an avid golfer and plays off a handicap of 10.
He said: “Like most youngsters, my first love was football, but at the age of 12, because I had some injury problems I was encouraged to take up a different sport - either golf or swimming - and because I didn’t love swimming, I chose golf!”
Paul has been immersed in frontline greenkeeping and is an R&A Scholar while completing his degree. He has top level tournament experience both in the UK and overseas including representing the R&A at prestigous events such as the 2016 Singapore Open at the “Augusta of Asia”.
“I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Stamford and it’s a bonus to have moved to this beautiful Georgian town,” he said.
“I shall ensure that the greens are the best they can be for our golfers. I suppose for anyone who doesn’t understand the finer aspects of the greenkeeping profession, my first impression was a bit like looking around a beautiful Grade II listed building that is in need of sympathetic renovation.”
General manager David Ford said: “Paul’s appointment as course manager shows our intention to improve and modernise our club for members and visitors. Paul has embraced the club’s exciting vision for the future and we are confident he will play a pivotal role in making Burghley Park one of the best and most enjoyable golf courses in the region.“
Within days of his arrival, Paul and course consultant Gordon Irvine were hard at work remodelling and improving one of the par 3 holes - the 13th.
“We are already receiving an increasing number of inquiries for membership and we are almost at capacity,“ said Ford.
Paul’s appointment follows the retirement of former head greenkeeper David Salisbury, who retired last month after 36 years at the Club.