Golf club profile: Kirkby Lonsdale

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick July 21, 2022 10:14

The Cumbrian club has seen a large increase in members in the last year – and many of them are younger and female golfers.

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club in Cumbria has seen its membership rise from about 350 to around 450 in the past 12 months.

The number of visitors has also significantly increased to a record high.

The picturesque club, which nestles in the lovely Lune Valley between Kirkby Lonsdale and Barbon, is benefiting from a boom in interest in golf nationally and from a series of its own initiatives.

There has been a large increase in the number of female members, driven initially by three Get Into Golf six-week beginners’ courses run by PGA trainee professional Ellie Broome. The club has subsequently set up weekly coaching sessions for ladies.

Ellie has also boosted the number of junior members by running weekly sessions for youngsters of different ages and abilities and organising junior coaching camps during school holidays.

The club successfully applied to England Golf to run its Girls Golf Rocks courses, which encourage beginner girls aged from five to 18 to learn and play golf in a fun and friendly way. Two six-week Girls Golf Rocks courses were held and, since then, many of the girls who took part have joined junior groups at the club.

“With the new ladies and juniors, we are aiming to create a pathway towards membership,” explained the club’s head PGA professional John Twissell. “It’s not just about giving them lessons; it’s about taking them out on to the course and letting them experience what it has to offer.”

The number of members aged under 30 has also increased significantly.

Club captain Graham Bywater explained the rising popularity of golf and the increase in membership and visitors meant the club could afford to make a number of improvements to the course and facilities.

For example, renovations were taking place in the men’s toilets, showers and changing rooms and there were plans to make improvements to the bar and restaurant area inside the clubhouse and to expand the patio and terrace.

“The bunkers are being renovated, we have taken on additional greenkeeping staff and upgraded the greenkeeping machinery,” he said.

Other initiatives include offering businesses corporate membership, which also gives them the opportunity to sponsor a tee. And in April the club ran a ‘bring a buddy day’, where members could bring along three people as guests to introduce them to the club.

Bywater explained the appeal of the club: “It is a long, interesting, quality course, which gives a fair test of golf to players of all abilities.”

And vice-captain John Sherlock added: “The club is friendly and inviting and the scenery is fantastic.”

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club was established in 1906 and has been at its present site since 1991. The 18-hole course measures 6,594 yards and is laid out in more than 160 acres of spectacular countryside. The layout provides two nine-hole loops out and back to the clubhouse.

Each of the holes has its own unique character and has four tee options, providing different degrees of difficulty. The River Lune and Barbon Beck both run through the course, which offers views of Barbon Fell and the Howgills.

Other facilities include a swing room with launch monitor; a short game chipping area; a pro shop selling equipment and clothing; and ten driving range bays.

The course is a haven for wildlife, including roe deer, rabbits, hares, stoats and weasels. There is a heronry and nesting swans and ducks on the lake. A number of nesting boxes have been put up, which have attracted a wide variety of birdlife to the course.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick July 21, 2022 10:14
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