ST Mellion estate rolls back the years as it prepares to host the British Challenge

- New tees, refurbished bunkers and a state-of-the-art irrigation system continue the legacy at the renowned Cornish resort


As one of the UK’s leading golf resorts prepares to host the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management, details have emerged of the extensive preparations being made ahead of the highly anticipated event. As the countdown to tee-off reaches 50 days, St. Mellion Estate has confirmed the completion of a series of improvements both on and off the course.


Following a 15-year wait to welcome back elite golf to the West of England, the prestigious 36-hole venue has been making provision for its return to golf’s upper echelons. Now, with the cream of Europe’s golfers set to follow in the footsteps of legends like Olazabal, Langer and Ballesteros by teeing it up at one the UK’s most revered courses – the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course – the preparatory work is almost complete.


Set in 450 acres of stunning Cornish countryside, St. Mellion Estate has established a legacy of hosting golf at the highest level. It has also witnessed significant investments most recently culminating in a £2m redevelopment project that has transformed 18 holiday cottages, hidden deep within the two championship golf courses, into the ‘Cottage Collection’.


The on-course changes have been just as impressive with the emphasis on ensuring the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course maintains its legendary status. “We are thrilled to be hosting the British Challenge at St. Mellion Estate and welcoming spectators of all ages to this free, ticketed event,” explained David Moon, Director of Golf at St. Mellion Estate. “Sports fans will once again enjoy elite golf on their doorstep and have the opportunity to watch the next generation of golf stars up close at one of UK’s most revered courses.”


He continued: “The British Challenge is the penultimate event in the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca. As such, it will be wonderful to see such a significant event played over one of Jack Nicklaus’ finest designs, and his first in Europe.”


Conceived as a premier tournament venue, the opening of The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in 1988 was marked by an exhibition match between a US team featuring the most successful golfer of all time Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson and the UK pairing of Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle. The course went on to host the B&H International Open six times and drew praise from both the public and golfing media. Most recently, St. Mellion Estate was listed in the top 20 resorts in the UK and Ireland by Golf World.


Moon admits, however, that the team at St. Mellion Estate were all-too aware of the time that had lapsed since a significant tournament was staged at the Cornish venue. Consequently, the ongoing programme of course improvements gained particular impetus when it was confirmed the resort would host the British Challenge for two consecutive years.


The changes, which include new tees at the 12th and 14th, extend the course to over 7,000 yards for the first time. Indeed, all of the 47 bunkers have been reshaped by Nicklaus Design while significant additional drainage works and a state-of-the-art TORO irrigation system has been installed. As significantly, the fairways have been top-dressed with 500 tonnes of sand annually to improve surface drainage and year-round playability. The extensive work has been overseen by Master Greenkeeper Mike Bush who belongs to an exclusive club of greenkeepers to be awarded the coveted BIGGA distinction.

“The changes made to The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course form part of a much wider ethos to continually seek improvement in every aspect of the resort,” said Bush. “The new tees and refurbished bunkers will be the most obvious additions, but committing to an annual programme of top-dressing for the fairways, as well as the greens, tees and landing areas, has made a significant difference in terms of playability. Add to that the new TORO irrigation system, and I would safely say we’ve never been better prepared to host a top-class tournament such as the British Challenge.”


Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “It is incredibly exciting to be able to take the Challenge Tour to St. Mellion for the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management. St. Mellion offers one of the best golfing experiences in the UK and the Nicklaus Signature Golf Course will provide a true test for our members.”


St. Mellion Estate will host the highly anticipated British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management from 6-9 October, 2022. As you would expect from a tournament of this magnitude, commercial and partnership sponsorship opportunities are in demand while pro-am team entries for 5 October are proving popular.


For further details about both, contact Regan Bush, Marketing Manager at St. Mellion Estate on 01579 351351 or regan.bush@st-mellion.co.uk.


To register for a free ticket to the event, please follow the URL link: https://www.st-mellion.co.uk/en/british-challenge.html