Fantastic effort by Blackley volunteers reaps its reward

IN these tough times for golf clubs the work done by willing volunteers on behalf of their beloved clubs is a key part to their success and development.

Blackley Golf Club is a prime example of this with the recent completion of a state-of-the-art Swing Room, much appreciated by their professional Steve Ingham, who has been in the post for just over a year.

Barabara Schofield, a top official and loyal member of the club for many years explained: “When we were appointing a new head professional in late 2018 we interviewed a large number and it became apparent to us that the club’s lack of a swing room would be a major disadvantage in the recruitment.

“The recruitment panel, with the support of the Blackley Board made a firm commitment to the applicants that this facility would be provided before we appointed Steve Ingham as our PGA professional.

 Plaque unveiling by Left Captain Kevin Bolton and right President William Radcliffe

 

“A team of volunteers with the requisite skills was put together to scope, provide a business case and put a project plan to deliver the swing room.
“We had presentations from Foremost, a provider of swing rooms and the options available to us and worked closely with Steve to identify the requirements for the swing room.

“There were a number of sites within the grounds examined for suitability and the ideal was for it to be within the clubhouse but the height of the ceiling made that a non-starter,

“Eventually space was identified within the existing grounds building and work began to clear the space with the grounds people doing the work when the weather prevented them being out on the course.

“A detailed plan was produced by one of our members and submitted to Rochdale Council for approval and work began in October 2019, later than we had envisaged.

“Where possible we were looking for volunteer tradesmen to provide the structure but a combination of workload and illness meant that we had to get the initial brickwork provided by the friend of a member and the rest of the building was then constructed entirely by volunteers from the club.

“The stringent building regulations challenged us but eventually we overcame a number of obstacles and cracked on with the build.

“The interior was covered in carpet tiles from top to bottom to provide protection for both the walls and ceiling from stray golf balls. The electrical work was again provided by one of our members assisted by volunteer labourers in an effort to ensure that we replicated the feel of an outdoor facility and the tee to green area was covered in artificial grass to represent a fairway.

“The latest technology has been installed and this will enable the professional and his assistants to provide, lessons, club fitting etc using the latest hardware and software.

“The facility will be a fantastic addition to Blackley Golf Club’s already strong reputation as the friendly club with first class facilities and the members could not wait to have lessons or book the simulator which will enable them to play the best courses in the world from the comforts of their own club.

 

Group ready for the launch ltr Kevin Bolton

Steve and Elliott at work

Member Ged Skelly tries out the facility

Steve Ingham Elliott Tickle (Junior Captain), William Radcliffe

   

“The project epitomises the can-do attitude of the Blackley Board and its members to ensure we move forward in an increasingly competitive area to attract new members.”

The room was officially opened by Captain and President who unveiled a plaque on the wall to celebrate the great effort of the volunteers.

Steve Ingham added: “The studio boasts a GC2 launch monitor, FSX Live software and high speed cameras and is available for lessons and simulator hire for both members and non members.

“We will also be continuing our work with The Stroke Association who will be using the room and club facilities throughout the summer months.”

 

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