Closed down course set to be resurrected and improved

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 20, 2019 08:10

In a sign of the strength of some parts of the UK golf market, a Lancashire facility that closed down in 2013, and then reopened as a nine-hole club, now plans to revert back to being an 18-hole venue.

While many clubs have closed down in the last year, participation data shows stability in the market and several venues have reported significant growth in recent years.

According to the Lancashire Post, The Laurels, the former venue for Charnock Richard Golf Club, has submitted a planning application to add nine holes to the facility.

Owner Stephen Storey said: “It’s going to be the only one around where you can play three choices – the first nine, a second more challenging nine and then if you want to put them both together, you’ve got an 18. It’s going to be quite unique really.

“We haven’t really found anything else that does this so the golfers are really excited about it.”

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The former course closed in 2013 before Steven took over the site.

A letter, signed by 156 golfers, has also been submitted to Lancashire County Council endorsing the revitalisation of the latter nine.

“We want to firstly highlight the high standard and quality of workmanship that has gone into all facilities at The Laurels,” the letter writes.

“Unfortunately, the 18-hole golf course was forced to shut down due to it gaining a bad reputation for being a boring course with few challenging features.

“In order to attract more diverse users the course needs to be more challenging.

“Opening up a more challenging nine holes will complement the existing nine holes and give golfers the option of just doing the easy nine holes or extending their round by attempting the more challenging nine holes.”

In August this year, The Laurels was denied plans to transform part of the land into a holiday caravan park, with camping pods and amenity blocks, because of concerns over the potential impact it could have on the greenbelt land on which it is located.

“[The course] qualifies already in the greenbelt so there’s going to be no change this time. We’re upgrading what’s already here,” explained Stephen.

“We have invested around £4.5 million altogether. We’re not messing around.

“It’s better for the area. Charnock Richard is not on the map. Nothing has been invested in Charnock Richard for years and years.

“People are supporting this. This was a derelict place and dumping ground before. Everyone is really excited about it.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 20, 2019 08:10
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