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Dining at Shirland Golf & Country Club

Dining at Shirland Golf & Country Club

On Sunday March 5th we took the opportunity to go along to Shirland Golf Club for a carvery lunch.  It’s years since I was there and was quite shocked and very pleasantly surprised to see how much work and effort has been put into what was a bit of a tired building. The quality of what has been done really is a credit to owner Colin Hancock who has a firm determination to put Shirland Golf Club firmly on the map for golf, weddings, parties, musical events and much, much more. The setting is absolutely beautiful for all of the aforementioned. 

We were greeted by Colin who is a most genial host and along with his partner Sarah made us really feel at home in the spacious dining area now called Fairways. Colin has a passion for sport in all its forms and he knows that having the correct facilities are paramount to an enjoyable game of whatever sport you choose. Football is his main interest, you can tell that by the way he talks about his local team Notts County whose games he goes to regularly. There is a good following of fellow fans at the golf club too as I found out as people came to chat to him about the game.

It came therefore as no surprise to me that when he talked about the aspirations he has for Shirland Golf Club it encompasses more than just golf. The wedding side is well under way with a superb marquee situated just next to the trees a short walk from the main clubhouse. Named The Pines, it  has already hosted many weddings and musical functions. 

Music and entertainment are also Colin’s passion and events are already planned for this summer with a number of tribute bands lined up (dates to be announced). We sat chatting to Colin and Sarah over a lunch of soup starter and main course, which is a traditional Sunday carvery reintroduced by popular demand after lockdown. We enjoyed a generous portion of beef and turkey, with all the trimmings; pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and crispy Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes. The chef Chris, has 45 years experience in catering and was hard at work in the  kitchen for this 12 noon to 4 pm Sunday roast lunch which is a firm favourite. 

I had the opportunity to visit the kitchen and have a brief word with Chris who you can see has got things firmly under control. There are traditional puddings such as apple crumble and custard, and home-made cakes to finish on a sweet note. Dining in the large clubhouse, it was intriguing to see both families and couples, all there enjoying their Sunday together, looking out over the golf course, the golfers joining after they had finished their rounds. 

As summer comes, the large balcony with extensive views stretching over to Ashover and beyond will be a delightful place to sit, drink and dine.

When I asked Colin ‘Why buy a golf club?’ He said ‘Why not?”  He’s already spent a lot of money on rebuilding and renovating the clubhouse since taking over just before the pandemic and, as I mentioned at the beginning, it’s a very different place. Colin took me on a tour of every room including the new entrance area which is very plush and comes complete with a separate room where the registrar will be situated on wedding days.  There’s a room for private functions and a separate spike bar area for golfers along with the revamped locker room, shower and toilets. 

Attracting future members shouldn’t be a problem as extensive work has, and is frequently carried out on the course without upsetting the regular golfers weekly routine. That’s a skill in itself as golfers like a nice course but don’t want anything to disrupt their regular playing days. But, the golf club is aware of that and works to keep things on an even keel. 

Finishing our meal with a helping of apple crumble, I felt we had covered every aspect of life including Colins’ background in dentistry, working in Harley Street and travelling the country setting up dental practices. Dentistry is something that he is still passionate about and keenly involved with. We even found we had a mutual love of certain areas of the country and their cosy pubs, as well as spending a little time with George Best, he even has a George Best corner in one of the rooms! Every room seems to be adorned with his footballing past including his involvement with the 1966 World Cup. 

What of the future? Well we’ve touched on most of it but there are plans afoot to look at putting residential units on site and why not? It’s the perfect situation to do it.  He’s right to be proud of what has been accomplished up to now and he still has the drive to push on further which can only be good for Shirland Golf Club. There’s a good team spirit and plenty of support to go even further including family members. Colin’s daughter Honor lives on site and sees to it that everything goes to plan.  

The Sunday carvery is from 12noon to 4pm and it’s best to book in. You’ll enjoy the mix of company and hear the golfers regaling their successes too, but don’t believe all that you hear! 

Our thanks to Colin, Sarah and Chris, for welcoming us so warmly.


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