The Cottesmore Story
The History of Cottesmore
It all began with
In 1973 Michael Rogerson, a recently retired prep school head master, and his 23 year old son, Matthew, a young farmer, embarked upon an adventure to turn their rather tired farm into a golf course. The farm buildings, built by French prisoners of war in 1815, were to become
the club house.
For years, Michael, a keen county golfer, had been prodding his cattle around the farm with his niblick in his free time from the school and often dreamed of the land as a golf course. Matthew, also a keen golfer and recently qualified farmer, had just been told to give up farming for health reasons. So the adventure began. The course was designed and built by Father and Son and with the help of the farm staff it opened for business in April 1975. By July 600 members had signed up at £32.50 a year, £1 a round weekdays and £1.50 at weekends.
Mad about golf, the
dream was set
A risky investment
The success of Tony Jacklin in the 1969 Open popularised the game of golf to the nation. Michael had the vision to see the demand and took a big risk in investing his savings in the venture, especially as all his golfing pals said it would never work. The adventure continued, another course was built in 1980 followed by 15 hotel rooms three years later. When Michael finally retired in 1988, Matthew was concerned by the Royal & Ancient's report for the demand for 700 golf courses in the UK, so diversification was a priority. After intensive research in the USA, Matthew took on a major development of the club house into a country club complex with indoor pool, health club and function rooms. This opened in 1992. Nine hotel rooms were added in 2002 and seven, two-bedroom holiday lodges were built in 2007.
Matthew's son-in-law and daughter, Johnny and Louisa Porter took on the business in July 2013 "After forty years of being in the golf and country club business, it would be any father's wish to see the next generation take up the reins
when they retire and develop the business further. My wife, Susan, and I are absolutely delighted that Johnny and Louisa have thrown themselves into the business with energy and enthusiasm. An exciting future lies ahead." Matthew Rogerson
From then to now
A devastating fire
The blaze, which occurred on the afternoon of June 11, 2018, was attended by 10 fire engines and destroyed almost two-thirds of the original historic main building, resulting in closing the business to rebuild the clubhouse.
Matthew's daughter, Louisa Porter, and her husband, Johnny, have managed Cottesmore since 2013, and could only watch as more than half a century of family history went up in flames in a matter of hours.
In April 2020 the ambitious rebuilding programme was complete. The new Cottesmore Hotel Golf & Country Club boasts improved clubhouse and hotel facilities, including an oak-beamed bar and restaurant with a panoramic view of the Griffin course, serving gastro classics using only fresh ingredients. There is also a brand-new beauty salon and health club, complete with gym, spin studio, fitness class studio, swimming pool, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and a full programme of classes. The hotel now has 26 stylish en-suite bedrooms, as well as dynamic function rooms that are ideal for weddings, parties and business conferences.
Onwards and upwards