North East Round-up: Course unveiled at Lee Westwood venue

A round-up of the latest news from the North East

Close House has announced it has added to its portfolio of golf facilities with the addition of a nine-hole pitch and putt-style course.

The Yearling route will sit alongside the two championship layouts at the club, which are the only courses in the world designed by Lee Westwood.

‘The addition of the course will prove a real asset for us here.’ Close House owner Graham Wylie announced the addition while caddying for Westwood at the Masters annual par-3 competition at Augusta National.

“The addition of the Yearling course will prove a real asset to us here and will be an environment in which those new to the game can learn the rules and etiquette of golf,” said Wylie. “It will present an enjoyable way for juniors to experience every element of the game, while more accomplished players will find it a great way to fine tune their wedge game.

“It’s a nice touch that the opening of the Yearling course coincides with the playing of the most famous par-3 tournament at Augusta National as part of this year’s Masters.”

The par-27 layout will provide a transition between the academy and the 18-hole courses. It will only be available to members, guests and residents and will feature hand-cut greens maintained to the same standard as both the Colt and Filly courses.

League for improving golfers kicks off at Whitby

A summer league specifically designed for the improving intermediate golfer – known as ‘Foxes’ – is being launched at Whitby on Sunday (April 19).

The league has been organised by the North East Rabbits Golf Association and is intended to bridge the gap between beginners and established golfers, providing a competition that ‘intermediate’ handicappers can get involved in.

The ‘Foxes’ section sits between Rabbits and Tigers and is aimed at golfers with a handicap between 10 and 16.

Daley joy at Forest of Galtres

Forest of Galtres hosted the third leg of the Yorkshire PGA’s trainee professionals’ Order of Merit on Thursday, with Hainsworth’s Matt Daley taking the glory.

Sue Procter, secretary of the Skelton course, told the York Press: “We made an approach to the PGA and they said they would like to come. We couldn’t have had a better day for it and the greens were very fast.

“Everyone seemed very happy and it was a good way for us to promote the course.”

Andrew Rigby from Leeds came in second place, two shots behind the victor, and said: “It was nice to start getting back into the swing of it now the season has started. The course was nice – a pleasure to play – and I will definitely go back.”

Dream ends at ‘future Ryder Cup’ venue

Flaxby closed at the start of the month as developers prepare to transform the course into a housing development.

When it opened in 2004, owners Skelwith Group claimed it was their aim to host the Ryder Cup at the club.

A Skelwith spokesperson said: “As planned, the course closed on the final day of the current season.

“Our master plan for a new sustainable village on the course is progressing well and evolving, following feedback from the council, various consul tees and the local community.”

Six jobs have been lost as a result of the closure at the course, which was heralded as one of the premier courses in the north of England when it opened.

However, the Skelwith Group said the course is not profitable, with too many golfing facilities in the region.

Work on a roundabout at the site last year cost more than £4 million, making it the most expensive in North Yorkshire.

The plans for the development include 2,500 new homes, a village centre, hotel, public transport hub, school and medical centre.

Leeds course saved from closure by community group

Leeds City Council has handed over the running of Gotts Park to a community interest group, ending fears of a potential closure of the course.

The deal ends two years of uncertainty after the council announced it could no longer afford the annual £217,000 costs of running Gotts Park and Middleton Park courses, which were opened in 1933.

Club chairman Alan Walls told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “This new chapter of the club’s history will be challenging. However, working closely with our partners, we want to encourage the local community to support us. We are keen to establish a Friends of Gotts Park to protect this great asset for future generations to come.”

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