The latest Adventure Golf experience has opened its doors in Southend, to much plaudits from the first visitors of the new attraction. Garon Castle Adventures has been built by Alan Walker, PGA Master Professional and Proprietor of Garon Park Golf Complex and introduces an interesting new educational angle to the family-friendly activity.
The popularity of Adventure Golf venues has been widely spoken about recently with the continuing expansion of BGL Group’s “Mr Mulligans” brand and the recent £27m funding injection into Puttshack. Where once ‘Crazy Golf’ was largely associated with seaside resorts, concrete courses and holes where you had to navigate through a windmill, the modern Adventure Golf courses take an altogether more grandiose theme – from dinosaurs to jungles to lost paradise islands.
Garon Castle therefore represents somewhat of a homecoming for the exciting new leisure phenomenon with its location in the popular seaside town of Southend-on-Sea. Yet there’s very little traditional about the course, and certainly no windmills! Taking inspiration from the local Hadleigh Castle, the course takes players through an historical journey of Essex’s past.
Indeed, it’s not until you play the course that you realise just how rich a history the county has – homeland of the original Essex girl, Boudicca; the first capital of Roman Britain, Colchester; and the grizzly 16th century executions at Gallows Corner to name but three.
The course itself has many spectacular features including a huge waterfall and a cable ferry where players pull themselves across a river between the 1st and 2nd holes. The course continues by circling around the feature 8th hole – the accurately reproduced model of Hadleigh Castle. The original is located just 8 miles from Garon Castle Adventures and was built in 1215 by Hubert de Burgh, who was effectively ruler of England during Henry III’s childhood.
Working with Promote Golf, Garon Park Golf Complex didn’t come across the theming by accident. This was a wisely thought out strategy that considered very carefully the peaks and troughs of demand experienced by all Adventure Golf courses.
Alan Walker explains, “We knew that Adventure Golf is hugely popular during school holiday time and we’ve already experienced that at Garon Castle. However, we wanted to develop something that could also attract trade during the day when the kids are at school. We worked with the team at Promote Golf to devise this historical theming that would also attract local schools on educational trips. We’re even in the process of creating school worksheets that accompany the course for children in key stage 1 and key stage 2.”
It’s a new angle to Adventure Golf theming that certainly shows potential of expanding the popularity of the game beyond family leisure time whilst also retaining the fun and engagement for younger participants.
Garon Castle Adventures www.garoncastleadventures.co.uk
Garon Park Golf Complex www.garonparkgolf.co.uk
Promote Golf www.promotegolf.co.uk
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