Four new all-weather coaching and practice areas have been installed by Huxley Golf at the English National Golf Centre in Lincolnshire. Covering more than 200 sq yards (175 sq m), the four dedicated outdoor practice facilities replace and extend the all-weather surfaces first installed by Huxley Golf at Woodhall Spa some six years ago.
Commissioned by the English Golf Union (EGU), the original surfaces proved a highly successful complement to natural turf, able to handle heavy use with minimal wear and tear or maintenance, while still providing golfers with a realistic surface from which to play a wide range of shots.
When the time came to update the all-weather practice and coaching facilities at Woodhall Spa, the EGU turned again to Huxley Golf to supply and install the very latest state-of-the-art outdoor surfaces available to the golf industry.
Used by golfers of all ages and abilities, the Huxley premier all-weather surfaces selected for the National Golf Centre comprise a 12ft wide x 20ft long (3.66m x 6.10m) nylon turf teaching area, two nylon turf practice tees measuring 12ft x 50ft (3.66m x 15.25m) and 6ft x 75ft (1.83m x 22.88m), and a 30ft x 20ft (9.15m x 6.10m) nylon putting green.
The nylon turf teaching area is located in the end bay of Woodhall Spa’s driving range and is used primarily by EGU National Coach, Keith Williams, together with six regional coaches, when working with England’s leading amateur golfers, which include the Elite, the “A” and “B” and the Regional, County and Junior English Golf Squads.
In common with the new teaching area, both of the Huxley nylon turf practice tees have been installed to reduce the pressure and reliance on natural turf, which, says EGU Director of Golf, Richard Latham, would be in a parlous state without the Huxley all-weather alternatives.
The longer of the two new practice tees is located within the short game area at Woodhall Spa, where it is used specifically for shots played with a sand-iron or a wedge. The second practice tee has been installed on the driving range to complement two existing grass teeing areas, enabling a full range of shots to be played at any time of the year and in any conditions without compromising the adjacent natural turf.
Finally, the new nylon putting green is located in front of the main entrance to the driving range, providing a first-class all-weather practice putting facility for the large number of golfers who visit the National Golf Centre every week for coaching, for practice or to play Woodhall Spa’s two superb 18 hole golf courses.
“The latest Huxley surfaces really are first-class, providing a true and life-like alternative to natural turf. They also look wonderful,” commented Mr Latham. “Golfers understand why we need alternatives to natural turf and are delighted that the surfaces we have selected allow them to play a normal golf shot and work the ball without jarring of the hands. The feedback has been extremely positive.”
Echoing Richard Latham’s praise for the surfaces, National Coach, Keith Williams, commented that the leading English amateur players attending coaching sessions at the National Golf Centre had no qualms whatsoever about playing a full range of shots off the Huxley all-weather teaching and practice surfaces. “I am using the surfaces every day,” he said. “I am most impressed with their natural and responsive feel as are the golfers that I am coaching.”
Final word goes to Peter Wisbey, Courses Manager at Woodhall Spa: “The response to the new Huxley all-weather installations has been fantastic,” he said. “I like them particularly for their low maintenance requirements, needing little more than a stiff brushing every morning. This means that all four surfaces can be looked after easily by the driving range staff, leaving the specialist greenkeeping team free to concentrate on the fine turf areas of the course. The Huxley surfaces take the pressure off natural turf without any detrimental effects from either the playing or the maintenance point of view.”
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