A NORTH Wales golf club has made the most of a Covid-related grant by creating a new outdoor hospitality area.
Mold Golf Club manager Debbie Barton put a bid in for the project late last year and, having received a £9,809 R&A Covid-19 Winter Resilience and Sustainability Fund grant, the work was completed in time for the Welsh government’s easing of Covid restrictions last month.
The Flintshire-based club found a clever way of making use of a landlocked area outside the clubhouse in between the first and the 18th holes.
“Stray golf balls from either the first or the 18th have been known to land in this area so we had to put netting over the top and around the sides to keep people safe,” explained Debbie. “Initially I think some people were a bit sceptical about it, but you don’t really notice the netting once you are out there and it just makes it a really safe place to have a drink and enjoy the views,” she added.
“We are fortunate to have a Health & Safety officer as a member of the club, so he was able to advise, and we used a special sports netting. A contractor built the pergola and laid the patio, but our House Chairman and his committee worked tirelessly bringing this project to fruition, building all the fencing, sourcing and erecting the netting and even making all the picnic benches from scratch themselves.”
“It looks really good. With social distancing in place we can have 28 people out there, but once restrictions are lifted the capacity will increase. We currently have 13 tables on the new patio area.
“It has been an absolute godsend since we’ve been allowed to open up outside and it will be a great spot for outdoor social events once we can get going.”
The club, who have gained over 50 new members since the start of March, used the same contractor who had just completed improvement works inside the clubhouse. “The clubhouse roof was failing last year so while work was being done to repair it, it seemed like a good time to remodel the lounge and to add some lovely new big windows to make the most of the panoramic views over the course,” explained Debbie. “It also gave us the chance to add some patio doors, so the outdoor area became an extension of that phase of work.
“The feedback from the members for the new outdoor patio area has been really positive. They are enjoying watching their fellow golfers play the nearby holes, which are the first, second, 16th and 18th. The views over the Clwydian Hills are fabulous too.
“It’s something our members and visitors are going to be able to enjoy for years to come.
“We owe an enormous thanks to the R&A and Wales Golf. We wouldn’t have been able to have any meaningful outdoor hospitality without this grant.”
But Debbie and the Mold team aren’t resting on their laurels. “We have also received a grant from Sport Wales to build a four-bay practice shelter, which is something that the members had been wanting for years. That will be our next project so it’s all go!,” Debbie confirmed.
Photo caption: Mold captain Colin Davies was the first to enjoy a pint on the new patio on the first day of opening in late April.