How Wrag Barn developed from farming to golfing

In the early 1980s, the 150 acres of land at Sevenhampton, which is now Wrag Barn golf course, was farmed by the Manners family with a rotation of arable and grassland. Tim Manners’ parents had always been keen golfers and Tim had played as a Junior so, with a plan of the course, we went to visit the Bond brothers at St Mellion, who had developed their farmland into several golf courses and a hotel in Cornwall. Their wisdom encouraged Tim and his parents to proceed with the venture. Simon Gidman from Hawtrees & Son was the course designer, planning permission was granted and Tim employed a friend of his to mark out the levels, paid for with beef from our herd. He hired a dumper truck and a digger and, for 12 months, was the envy of all his friends as he created the course with his digger. Irrigation was installed and a bore hole sunk for irrigation water and greens levelled and tees shaped.

This picture of our eldest aged 4 has sparked much debate as to exactly where it was taken, but it illustrates the prairie like nature of the course when it was first built and it took a long time for the trees to grow and create the parkland style course we enjoy now.

The Clubhouse was built on the site of a disused barn which was built of wrag stone. This isn’t a type of stone, but a method of building. The Clubhouse was designed with the changing rooms downstairs and the bars and reception rooms upstairs to make the most of the stunning views over the Berkshire downs. It has since had two extensions, so that we can accommodate; weddings, parties, wakes and conferences. It lends itself well to team building days as delegates love getting outside and always feedback that it helps with creativity.

The business is ever evolving as we reinvent ourselves to keep up with current trends and demands. We have introduced a new membership category and use social media for a large part of our communication. Last year we introduced an app so that members can book tee times and competitions, top up their bar card and check member information and competition results. The plan this year is to introduce a live leader board in the Clubhouse.

As a family-run business, we strive to create a community that develops our Juniors, provides enough competitions for our serious golfers, with enough fun for those seeking a more sociable pastime. Our Seniors section is well known for embracing new members and providing support if life becomes challenging. In short, we try to dispel the assumption that golf is stuffy and all rules and dress codes, instead it can be fun, engaging and sociable with mix generation competitions encouraged. You never know quite what reception you’ll receive from Gary, the golf club dog, but we are confident our team of staff will always do their best to make sure that your visit to Wrag Barn will be a pleasure whether it’s your wedding day or a cup of coffee on a quiet weekday morning.