Bolton Golf Club takes a short cut to success

BOLTON is among an increasing number of golf clubs in the region to create a short course, designed to fit unobtrusively into the main lay-out, as part of a drive to attract more players.

OPENING SHOT: Back, from left, Patrick Strong (captain), Ian Orrell (professional), Matthew Ball (junior captain), Nigel Evans (England Golf president), Judith Evans, Tony McMunn (Lancs president), Philip Riding (junior organiser). Middle: Michael Yates (short course co-ordinator), Martin Kippax (president), Jean Davies (lady captain), Brenda Flett (Lancs ladies captain). The three junior members are fronted by Toby Yates

OPENING SHOT: Back, from left, Patrick Strong (captain), Ian Orrell (professional), Matthew Ball (junior captain), Nigel Evans (England Golf president), Judith Evans, Tony McMunn (Lancs president), Philip Riding (junior organiser). Middle: Michael Yates (short course co-ordinator), Martin Kippax (president), Jean Davies (lady captain), Brenda Flett (Lancs ladies captain). The three junior members are fronted by Toby Yates

And at a time when memberships are declining world-wide, it’s not exclusively for juniors and beginners.

The project, suggested by former Lancashire County president Michael Yates, will also benefit senior golfers by extending their playing years.

He said: “I know that they can become disillusioned with the game because of health problems, decreasing stamina and the length of time it takes to play even a friendly round.

“Juniors, especially the very young, soon get bored and frustrated if there is no prospect of playing a competitive match on a proper course. Hopefully, this scheme will solve the problem for everyone.”

Yates, a member of the Lostock Park club, added: “With the shortened course and the England Golf Passport to Golf initiative led by Ian Orrell, our PGA professional, there will be lots to keep their interest.”

The course measures just over 3,700 yards, has a par of 68 and meets the regulations of the Council of National Golf Unions, the authorised body for handicaps.

It also has the backing of England Golf, Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and Lancashire Ladies County Golf Association.

Club chairman Roger McMullan commented: “When we analysed our

membership profile we realised that we needed to do something to make the game more appealing to seniors, novices – particularly ladies – and juniors and through a variety of initiatives the club has recruited more than 80 members during the last 18 months.

“Just over a year ago an academy membership was introduced to appeal to beginners and they see the short course as a natural progression after introductory lessons on the practice range with the professional team.”

Meanwhile, 124-year-old the club, which is the PGA in England & Wales (North) headquarters, will host the Lancashire County Amateur Championship on June 5-7.

For further information log on to boltongolfclub.co.uk

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