Golfers pitch in to open new holes at Rushden course

Nick Statham, (Greens Keeper), Ellie Williams (sec manager), Scott Matear, Jez Smith, Kyle Swailes (grounds staff), Rachael Armstrong and Rosie Kiernan (clubhouse staff), Rob Price (shop manager), David Bird (house manager)

Nick Statham, (Greens Keeper), Ellie Williams (sec manager), Scott Matear, Jez Smith, Kyle Swailes (grounds staff), Rachael Armstrong and Rosie Kiernan (clubhouse staff), Rob Price (shop manager), David Bird (house manager)

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Golfers have doubled the number of holes at their club after chipping in to help with the work.

Rushden Golf Club has an additional nine holes as well as a new practice ground thanks to members who teamed up to dig bunkers and carry out much of the groundwork required at the club in Kimbolton Road, Chelveston.

The club has previously been awarded GolfMark, a national seal of approval for junior and beginner-friendly facilities which play an important role in the development of the game. It now hopes to use its expanded course and practice area to offer more Get into golf sessions for the local community as well as disability golf coaching.

The club was established as a nine-hole layout in 1919, but members first suggested the idea of extending it to 18 a decade ago.

The chance to develop neighbouring farmland galvanised the project, which has seen members pitching in by digging bunkers, clearing stones and planting bushes on the new holes over the past 12 months.

Club secretary Ellie Williams said: “It has been a real club effort.

“Members first voted to extend to 18 holes 10 years ago but it has taken time for everything to come together.

“The land used for the new holes proved ideal and they really fit in well to the character of the course.

“Members have been involved in the design of the additional holes as well as doing a lot of the groundwork involved.”

The 6,519 yard par 71 course is already proving attractive to new members and visiting players.

She added: “We put on a membership offer to coincide with the opening of the new holes and that has resulted in around 30 players joining, while we have nine societies booked in for September which we would not have been able to accommodate in the past.”

David Davis, county development officer for Northamptonshire County Golf Partnership, said: “Rushden are to be congratulated on their continuing efforts to develop a first class facility which offers a pathway into the sport not only for established players but for those starting out in golf, too.”