Since buying Wentworth Club in 2014 Dr Chanchai Ruayrungruang has not only brought about changes to the membership he has invested hugely in upgrading the West Course to a really superior level of Championship golf. The putting surfaces look to be the best they’ve ever been and the condition of the course and the overall presentation received wide praise from competitors during the BMW PGA Championship.
Having recently been into the clubhouse, it was quite a culture shock. Gone was the cosy warm feel, the familiarity and it was replaced by something else. Italian marble, chrome and glass and steel, the finest carpets from China.This was something else. A dazzling display of clubs and memorabilia glistening in glass cases under spotlights. It looked like a fancy shop in Bond Street that set out to impress but not to make you feel welcome. It was look but dont touch. Where had Wentworth gone? It looked cold. £20million had been spent on the total refurbishment of clubhouse and golf course.
It’s recently been reported that Wentworth Club have lost £13 million in the past financial year. Dr Ruayrungruang’s Reignwood Group now appears to have the club heavily in debt. A new loan of £37 million has been taken out from the Agricultural Bank of China and previous debts of £135 million to Reignwood Global Investment have had payments deferred. There’s also a business dispute going on within Reignwood. Another twist in the ongoing saga.