Case Study: Hever Castle Golf Club

Case Study: Hever Castle Golf Club – Surrey Digital’s networking of remote refreshment huts

Hever Castle logo

Hever Castle Golf Club is an enchanting double-moated castle, located in the village of Hever, Kent. It began as a country house, built in the 13th century, and was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

The castle is open to tourists, as is its 125 acres of spectacular gardens. The estate also houses Hever Castle Golf Club, built in the 1920s by the castle’s resident Astor family as a personal golf course. In recent years, the club has been opened up to private members to play and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

As part of this transition, the club installed remote point-of-sale huts away from the main building, offering refreshments on a cash basis and separately to the club’s main café.

The Challenge

PE Socket solution Ranger Hut at Hever Golf Club

Faced with members’ increasing desire to purchase refreshments using card and needing a more robust way to record sales, the club asked resident electrical contractor Michael Meeneghan to find a solution to connect two huts –the ranger and the refreshment huts-to the main building so that new electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) terminals could be installed.

Michael initially explored traditional networking solutions such as structured CAT5/6 cabling and wireless (WiFi) networking, but the enormous cost of installing structural cable over this distance, and the inherent reliability issues in using WiFi as a standalone solution in such a long distance, meant neither technology was deemed viable.

The Solution

PE Socket solution refreshment hut at Hever Golf Club

Michael identified Power Ethernet Socket's "Powerline Sockets" as an ideal solution, requiring no further cabling and just the exchanging of the pre-existing sockets with Powerline Sockets.

The situation was complicated slightly due to each hut operating on an individual electrical circuit, the distance between the range hut and the main building and the high level of noise generated by a golf ball cleaner located in the same circuit of the Ranger hut. 

Connection to the main building network was achieved by creating two separate Powerline networks, one to the Refreshment hut and one to the Ranger hut. 

In order to connect the Ranger hut to the network and to overcome the noise levels, three Powerline Sockets were installed:

  • The first in the main building ( Power distribution A on Phase L2)
  • The second in the bridge across the lake (Power distribution C) in order to support the connection and also to connect a PA system.
  • The third in the golf ball cleaner hut (Power distribution D where the Powerline Socket was connected to a WiFi router to provide Internet connectivity to the ranger hut located very close by. The WiFi Network provides access to the course booking system via an IPad. 

In order to connect the Refreshment hut two Powerline Sockets were installed:

  • One in the main building (Power distribution B on Phase L1)
  • One in the refreshment hut

To join the two Powerline networks which are in different electrical phases, an Ethernet cable was use between them.

The Results

PE Socket Solution Hever Golf Club

The Powerline network and new EPOS systems took a total of two days to install, with no disruption to members – who were able to enjoy the club’s course throughout the work. The Powerline Sockets enable the club to use the existing power cables running between the huts and the main building, to deliver a continuous quality connection between the EPOS reader and the bank, which is essential in order to process credit card transactions and also to manage bookings and control playing times.

Hever Castle Golf Club is now able to offer a faster and vastly improved service via its automated EPOS tills in each remote hut and also to manage bookings and to control the playing time more efficiently. The network has performed flawlessly since installation.

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Jon Wittenberg, Club Manager at Hever Castle Golf Club, said: “I was amazed how quickly and simply Michael installed the technology and got it up and running. Employing Power Ethernet Sockets to link our remote huts and enable EPOS use has proved invaluable in improving the club’s catering capabilities. It’s not only pleased, but even surprised, our members that we are able to offer the same benefits of the main bar in these remote locations. It’s also speed up service at peak times, which has naturally increased our sales.”
PE Socket Solution Hever Golf Club
Michael Meeneghan, owner of Surrey Digital, said: “Hever Castle Golf Club confronted me with a really tricky install – connecting two locations hundreds of metres apart. The traditional network technologies we all know such as wireless (WiFi) or running network cable just don’t cut it in those kind of situations – they’re either too expensive, too unreliable over the distance, or both.

The one thing that nearly all buildings have, though, is mains power – and that’s where Power Ethernet Sockets come in. In this instance, the install was further complicated by separate power circuits; Power Ethernet’s brilliant tech support helped me identify and bridge the two phases using Powerline Sockets, creating a single network.

Powerline Sockets have since become my get-out-of-jail-free card – and I keep a couple of Powerline Sockets in my van at all times!”