Why municipal golf is thriving in Burnley

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 9, 2020 20:26

Municipal golf courses have generally been struggling in recent years. But it doesn’t have to be this way, as Wesley Kellow, operations manager at Burnley Leisure, which recently took on Towneley Golf Club, details.

Burnley Leisure, a trust that operates the majority of leisure facilities previously managed by Burnley Council’s sport and culture services, took over the operations of Towneley Golf Club in the 2017. This followed the prosperity of Prairie Sports Village, a successful two-tier 16-bay floodlit driving range that also offers mini golf, and has conference and events rooms, as well as a bistro and bar, which Burnley Leisure now operates.

The aims, following the handover of the golf course, featuring an 18-hole, 5,918 yard course, an 18-hole par three course and a nine-hole course, from the local council, were to increase memberships, increase visitor numbers, redevelop the shop and systems, carry out course upgrades with greens staff and make Towneley Golf Club sustainable for the future.

In June 2018 Burnley Leisure took over the operations of the clubhouse and since then around £75,000 has been spent on the building to meet health and safety requirements – as well as on upgrades.

Between 2017 and the end of 2019 there was over £275,000 of investment into Towneley Golf Club. The main investment areas were course signage and improvement works, a new retail shop and entrance, a kitchen refit, clubhouse works, a new pitch and putt cabin and a new footgolf course on the nine-hole course.

From launching our memberships in 2018 we have seen an increase of 31.5 per cent and in 2019 we had over 27,000 rounds of golf played, which is a huge improvement since 2017.

Over £275,000 was invested in Towneley GC from 2017-19, on:

  • Course signage and improvement works
  • New shop and entrance
  • Kitchen refit
  • Clubhouse works – essential maintenance
  • Pitch and putt cabin
  • Footgolf

For more information, visit www.towneleygolf.com


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 9, 2020 20:26
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  1. Iain March 9, 12:00

    Great facility and a great example of municipal golf. Others could learn a lot form this story as its a bleak landscape for municipal golf courses right now.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jeremy March 9, 12:00

    27,000 rounds is hardly thriving for a course that would have done double that 25 years ago !

    Reply to this comment
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