By David Birtill
NICK Solski has returned to his native North West after spending the last seven years working in what was the Soviet Union.
The former Shrigley Hall professional was initially based at the V Golf Resort in Vilnius in Lithuania followed by Superior Golf Club in Ukraine before moving to PGA National Russia in Zavidovo.
His next stop was the Skolkovo club in Moscow, owned by Roman Abramovich, where he spent two years and was inside the ropes watching Lancastrian Lee Slattery win the European Tour’s Russian Open there last season.
But it was meeting Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course, that will be forever etched in his memory. “His engagement with the project was incredible, and the passion that he demonstrated rubbed off on the whole team,” said Solski, one of only 35 individuals to achieve Club Managers’ Association of Europe certified status.
He was also appointed a Fellow of the PGA prior to leaving Skolkovo to take over Astley Driving Range in Manchester, which he has rebranded Boomers and Swingers.
Solski, who still works as a Braemar Golf consultant and also organises exclusive trips for Russian clients, said: “I’m enjoying being with friends and family at home and trying out some new ideas to make the game more fun for more people in the North West.”
He bought the range from Gareth Benson following his move to Formby Hall as a coach and he’s already making several changes.
“We have fun targets such as beer barrels and washing machines as well as the latest technology for golfers to enjoy. We are not shy in setting the goal of trying to be the best driving range in Manchester within six months,” he added.
Nick Solski, right, meets Jack Nicklaus.