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Club chips in with a new layout

 
Created on 18/05/2020 @ 08:14
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Golf made a tentative return last week following the Welsh Government’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions and players were welcomed back with a fresh look at Welshpool Golf Course.

The sport was first to announce its return, and the Golfa course was among those to immediately reopen in the UK having gone through a spring of renovations that provide golfers with a new challenge.

The club’s unforgiving first hole was once described in a golf magazine as a “monstrosity” with another writer saying that “you have to get the first hole out of the way before you can enjoy the golf course”.

With that sort of critique ringing in their ears, the club’s grounds team spent lockdown rejigging the course with a number of improvements and enhancements scattered around the 18 holes.

The end result? Players now play the former first hole 13th, by starting their 18-hole round on the former seventh hole.

“By coming into play later in the round it is naturally easier to approach,” a club spokesperson explained. “A round of golf can be spoiled after one hole due to an unfair bounce after what might not have been a bad shot. By placing the original first at the 13th on the course will not improve the hole, but players would be well into their round by the time they are confronted by it.

“Visitors also often ask to play a reduced-hole round. The first to 12th holes make a perfect short course with the best holes with fantastic views.”

The new layout places the 18th green next to the clubhouse, opening up future opportunities to extend the patio to an elevated position so that golfers can be viewed playing down the 18th, a tradition at most courses.

Other works that golfers are starting to appreciate include levelling and re-turfing of three tees (the second, 11th and 17th). The drainage ditch on the second has also had pipe work laid, filled and levelled to make the hole fairer.

New scorecards have been printed and new course signage put in place along with new hole numbers and tee markers. The club has reused a stockpile of 18 granite tee blocks on the main tees and recycled railway sleepers have been used on the red tees.

The Club’s scoring software required amendment with the changes updated to the numerous Golf GPS device companies.

The changes came in collaboration with the members who were given the opportunity to discuss various planned proposals.

They were then asked to vote on their preferred course routing with a clear majority in favour of the changes that have since been made, according to the club.

Like most courses, boosting membership is a priority and the club recently registered with “Play More Golf”, a flexible online booking facility for green fees and societies.

It also offers a reduced fee membership for people who only wish to play casual golf.

“Welshpool Golf Club welcomes all new members and visitors alike,” the spokesperson told us. “Its aim is to create a golf course that is fair, welcoming and affordable. A wide range of attractive membership options are available. For example, new members joining now will only pay for the remaining months of the year.”

The new website and booking facility will be up and running in the next few weeks but in the meantime, there is more information available from Club Secretary, Ken Stephens, at secretary@welshpoolgolfclub.co.uk.

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