Playgolf Northwick Park, which opened in 2006 with a unique 6-hole layout featuring replicas of famous golf holes from around the world, is to be extended to nine holes and will become a permanent PowerPlay Golf Centre.
Following extensive feedback from golfers who have played the 6-hole Majors Course in the last 18 months, Peter McEvoy, one of the original brains behind the concept admitted, “It has become clear to us that while golfers support the need for a shorter version of the game, the answer is not just fewer holes. Golfers want a new, shorter form of golf and PowerPlay Golf is the answer.
“We will build one new tee at Northwick Park to fully realise our 9-hole vision, but in all other respects it is ready to become London’s premier 9-hole golf course.”
Northwick Park owners, Playgolf (Holdings) Plc., were granted planning permission for a 9-hole course on the land in Harrow, London. They built eight full holes and incorporated the ninth tour-specification green into an expanded National Short Game Centre. In a bid to create a shortened, faster version of the game, Playgolf Northwick Park launched Europe’s first 6-hole ‘tribute’ golf course, using the eight holes in rotation.
Now a combination of a new tee and the original ninth green will enable Northwick Park to become a 9-hole PowerPlay Golf ‘super venue‘, while the Short Game Centre reverts to a 3-green facility.
Northwick Park, whose tribute holes include the 12th and 16th at Augusta and the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon, will be permanently set up to play PowerPlay Golf – which features two flags on every green.
Playgolf Holdings chief executive, David Piggins, said, “Golf in an hour sounds like a great idea but the feedback we have had over two years is that playing six holes just does not justify either the travel or the time off work, or give players enough satisfaction.
“We have found that PowerPlay Golf is being embraced as golf’s answer to Twenty20 cricket and we will provide that with a 9-hole PowerPlay Golf centre at Northwick Park.
“Going to nine holes will not affect the quality of golf on offer there, because we built full-size greens to start with. We remain fully committed to offering golfers the ultimate experience when it comes to playing a shorter, faster version of the game.
“We were the first people in the world to try 6-hole golf. Evidence from the pilot phase of PowerPlay Golf suggests that 9-hole golf presented in a more exciting and dramatic way is what golfers are after. This is supported by the fact that PowerPlay Golf is already a regular fixture at more than 100 golf courses in the UK, as well as at several in Australia and South Africa.”
Meanwhile, the new £16m Playsport Scotland development near Glasgow (formerly known as Playgolf East Kilbride) will be a full-scale tribute to nine of the most famous Open links holes, designed again by distinguished amateur McEvoy. And, like Northwick Park, it will be a permanent PowerPlay Golf ‘super venue‘.
Playsport Scotland is a joint venture between Kilmartin and Playgolf (Holdings) Plc. Kilmartin, the Edinburgh-based property developer with a £1.5 billion portfolio, has a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture. Playgolf (Holdings) Plc, owners of Playgolf Northwick Park, is a leading golf course and driving range management group based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
Peter McEvoy, the former GB&I Walker Cup captain, said, “We expect both courses – especially Playsport Scotland’s stunning links tribute course – to be exceptionally popular.”
PowerPlay Golf Ltd is rolling out PowerPlay Golf on a global basis. Australia and South Africa are the first countries outside the UK to play the game officially, with plans to roll the format out in over 40 countries world wide by summer 2008.