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Prestwich course gets an overhaul

PRESTWICH Golf Club is undergoing a major course development which should be completed in early 2020 and will bring dramatic improvements to their course and enhance the clubhouse.

Club professional Mark Pearson has been at the club for 24 years after beginning golf as a junior at Altrincham before moving to Dunham Forest as an assistant pro.

Pearson said: “While the course restructuring is taking place, we are reducing to nine holes but the sacrifice will be well worth it.

“We had six or seven cross-over holes which often did not endear the course to visitors but this will now be reduced to just one.

“The course work is ahead of schedule thanks to some good weather and is now 30-35 per cent completed.

“We have a very professional and enthusiastic team here at Prestwich and want to create something very special. We are hopeful that with the improvements to the course and the standards we are producing we will encourage new members and visitors.”

Prestwich head greenkeeper Chris Harding is a category one golfer at Stand and, like Pearson, he is delighted with the plans and how well the work is going.

He said: “My career in greenkeeping began as an apprentice at Stand where I gained a NVQ level 2/3 and after five years I moved on to Dunscar, where I worked for four years.

“I then got an opportunity to move on to Dunham Forest as greenkeeper mechanic. The club and Chris Gibson, the course manager at the time, were fantastic in helping me progress and put me through a degree in sports turf greenkeeping for which I will always be grateful and I became head greenkeeper at Prestwich in May, 2013.

“The current development is progressing very well and the contractors, John Greasleys, are producing some excellent work.

“Our architect Paul Thomas has given us some fantastic ideas and alterations which will help us drastically improve the perception of the current layout.

“We will be adding some strong par threes, a good par five and one of the most interesting 18th greens in the area. This will increase the difficulty in some areas, also removing the blind holes and holes which cross each other.

Players will also no longer have to climb steep hills, which should encourage new members and visitors as it will be an easier walk.

“We have also discovered a vast amount of sand which the course is built on, this has been capped over time and we fully intend to make significant inroads into getting the course free draining as well as changing strategies for course maintenance and introducing long grassland areas and heathers.”