The UK’s leading indoor golf club, Pitch, is expanding into Ireland, signing a long-term lease in Dublin’s premier retail and leisure destination, Grafton Place.
Pitch, which currently has two clubs in central London; Soho and The City, with a third London site on the way, has selected Dublin as the first location in its international expansion plan. The group aims to open at least five destinations across the UK and Ireland within the next three years, in addition to other international locations, with the Irish expansion led by young sports entrepreneur Christopher Best.
Opening in Q2 2024, Pitch has taken 9,000 sq.ft of space at Grafton Place, central Dublin’s 46,000 sq.ft retail and leisure complex bordering Trinity College and Grafton Street – one of the capital’s premier shopping streets.
Completed in summer of this year, Grafton Place is delivered by real estate investment managers MARK and BCP, with the scheme also including 145,000 sq.ft of Grade A office space – 60 Dawson Street. Pinterest, American software giant ServiceNow, and virtual reality company Sandbox VR – which counts Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake as investors – are amongst its tenant base.
The Pitch proposition seeks to disrupt the golfing industry, with its venues offering resident DJ’s, lounges, contemporary food and beverage provisions, social spaces and a golf fashion concept store, in addition to its virtual golfing bays powered by cutting-edge technology.
In-club academies offer coaching from PGA professionals and UK top 50 coaches, while a recent partnership with Adidas was created to support women getting into golf. The ongoing partnership sees 100 women a year given lessons and practice at Pitch, as well as women-only events with activities in a safe and encouraging environment.
Another one of Pitch’s key strategic partners is S&P listed golf brand Callaway, supporting the Pitch Dublin experience by stocking every bay with brand new clubs.
Pitch, which will be Dublin’s only indoor golf club, will tap into Ireland’s surging interest in the sport. Record high participation levels were recorded in 2022, which followed a 55% increase in golf memberships the year before. Trackman estimates that 80% of golf rounds will be played indoors by 2028.
Lily Lin, managing director, UK and Ireland at MARK, said: “Grafton Place and Dawson Street is the destination of choice for leading brands and companies looking to Ireland. It is market leading in build-quality, design, and sustainability standards – targeting LEED Gold and Well Gold certifications – and the caliber of tenants it has attracted is evidence of this.
“Dublin is one of Europe’s most resilient economies and its built environment must continue to adapt to the changing demands of today’s consumers and businesses driving economic growth.”
Chris Best, CEO, Pitch Ireland, said: “Despite a fierce and growing appetite for golf in Ireland, Dublin falls short when it comes to accommodating the interests of the modern day golfer.
“The opening of Pitch Dublin will change this, offering a truly unique experience that combines leading technology, professional training standards and a contemporary socialising experience for all ages and levels, backed by some of the biggest names and brands in the sport. In the last few years Pitch has become an extremely popular choice for corporate events as well as large social groups with many activities to enjoy beyond golf.
“Grafton Place is Dublin’s marquee leisure and retail location and a perfect fit for our strategic vision. We look forward to welcoming a range of customers at Pitch Dublin.”
Ray Crowley, Director, at BCP, said: “Pitch is a wonderful addition to Grafton Place, and the perfect complement to our existing leisure tenant, Sandbox. Together these two highly innovative and technology based leisure operators represent new and exciting amenities for our office tenants as well as the city centre consumers and residents.
“As one of the largest retail and leisure schemes in Dublin’s city centre in recent years, Grafton Place and 60 Dawson Street is a showcase in best-in-class amenity led office, retail and leisure development. We look forward to announcing further additions to our tenant line-up over the coming months.”