A Nottinghamshire club is hailing the success of its decision to go large in the drive to encourage more people to give golf a go.
Norwood Park Golf Centre in Southwell has already been recognised for its work to grow the game, being crowned club of the year in 2015 by Sport Nottingham, and its special ‘EZ Golf’ par three course has proved an ideal starting point for would-be golfers.
What makes it all the more attractive to newcomers to the sport is the giant-sized targets for their shots.
The holes on the greens are 15 inches wide – normally they are just 4.5 inches across – and are proving very popular both with those developing their golfing skills and players looking for a different kind of round.
TMaG staff player Rob Macey explains the thinking behind the radical changes to the traditional golf course format.
“The Par 3 Course was re-designed to incorporate shorter EZ tees and the 15” holes positioned on the greens away from the normal holes,” he says. “It gives the players more choice and is ideal for beginners and juniors wanting to make the transition from the driving range on to the course and without making it too difficult.
“It really has been very popular, offering both variety and fun for all the family. We are delighted to be amongst the first in the UK to introduce the new larger holes”
As golf looks to find the next generation of players and provide an alternative to the traditional 18-hole round which fit the demands of modern life, shorter courses, bigger holes and two-flag greens are amongst the ideas under discussion.
The initiative at Norwood Park Golf Centre has been welcomed by the Nottinghamshire Golf Partnership, which works to grow the sport.
County Development Officer Matthew Bloor says: “Norwood Park Golf Centre has shown to be one of the more pro-active clubs in Nottinghamshire. They put development at the heart of everything they do, which creates a warm and friendly atmosphere at the club.
“Norwood Park put the love of the game at the centre of all they do and in doing so have become a shining light for the region. The EZ Easy Golf initiative is proving very popular and is helping grow golf in Nottinghamshire by providing something different to appeal to would-be players of all ages and abilities.”
The scheme is being run in association with TaylorMade. Lee Farrar, Head of Field Sales for TaylorMade, says: “TaylorMade are delighted to be associated with EZ Golf at Norwood Park. The 15” cup encompassed with shorter holes is a great idea that brings a further enjoyment to the game for all ages and ability.”
Norwood Park Golf centre was awarded GolfMark Award (High Achiever) by England Golf in 2010, highlighting a strong commitment to junior golf development and adult beginners. They have formed school links with local councils and host numerous community golf projects including focusing on both juniors and adult programmes for those with special needs.
Norwood Park Golf Centre www.norwoodgolf.co.uk
England Golf www.englandgolf.org