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Come and have a shot in the dark

Parley Golf Centre is inviting golfers to have a shot in the dark by playing in a tournament at night on the new course.

The ‘glow golf’ includes fairway lights, illuminated balls and glowing greens – and takes place on Friday November 3.

Six of the course’s holes will be in play for the event that promises to be a fun evening’s entertainment.

Teams of three are invited to take part and there will be food available afterwards.

The centre – opposite Bournemouth Airport – recently opened a new course and practice area following £250,000 investment.

Daryl Dampney, manager of the centre, said: “Night golf is a lot of fun and something a bit unusual.

“It’s played over six holes and the fairways, greens and pins are lit up with glow-sticks.

“We use special golf balls that flash when they are hit, allowing players to see their shot in the dark.

“We aim to be a golf centre that embraces innovation and night golf is a great example of that.

“We’ve done it several times before and it’s always popular.

“Some golfers prefer playing at night because they say they can find lost balls more easily.”

New course leads to rise in membership

Parley Golf Centre has seen a 25 per cent increase in membership since it opened its new course in April.

There has also been a sharp spike in ‘pay and play’ customers who are also making use of the extensive new practice facilities.

The centre spent £250,000 on the course and training area having seen the model used to great effect in the US.

With golf participation declining in the UK, Parley is bucking the trend and anticipates further growth as the course beds down.

The centre opposite Bournemouth Airport also has a fast-growing female section which has helped boost numbers.

The nine-hole course is 5,169 yards long with 18 tees so a full game can be played in which every hole is different.

Manager Daryl Dampney said: “Initially we were going to build a new 18 hole course after gaining permission to double our footprint, but a visit to the US changed our minds.

“Over there is a great emphasis on specialist golf practice facilities and shorter courses.

“This enables those without time to play 18 holes to be able to spend half an hour or an hour getting in some really good practice.

“We not only have a great driving range, but huge practice green, short game training areas, academy practice holes, as well as specialist coaching bays and a simulator

“These facilities are luring those from other clubs who want to practice – and our professionals can also provide better quality coaching.

“The upgrade has resulted in a 25 per cent increase in membership and more ‘pay and players’ turning up.

“Our course has bedded down over the summer and is playing extremely well and we’re seeing many people pop in after work for a quick game.

“The café-bar is attracting non-playing visitors and our investment is now seeing returns.

“However, the development of the centre will continue as we grow and keep up with the changing aspects of the sport.”

Our inaugural club championship

The inaugural Parley Golf Centre club championship held on the new course saw dozens take on the 36-hole challenge.

Stuart Freeman was the overall ‘scratch’ winner and became the first club champion; he was also runner-up in the handicap event.

Shelley Davis was the ‘handicap’ winner and runner-up in the scratch competition.

Neil Holdaway came third in the scratch competition and Daniel Murphy was third in the handicap event.

Club captain Tony Pomeroy presented the prizes to the winners in what it is anticipated will become an annual event.

It is the first summer with the new course and practice facilities open and the greenkeepers are delighted with how well it has bedded down.

Daryl Dampney, manager of the centre, said: “Having invested so much is expanding the centre and building a new course we decided to hold a club championship.
“With a growing membership there were plenty of people taking part and we had great weather, too.
“The competition was highly competitive and played in a wonderful spirit. Afterwards we had a good get-together in the café-bar.

“Obviously congratulations to our new club champion Stuart Freeman.

“Anyone can come and play on the new course – just pitch up and play.”

 

First captain’s charity day on new course

The captain’s charity golf day at Parley Golf Centre raised more than £500 for Macmillan Caring Locally.

It’s the first time this event has been held on the new course at the centre opposite Bournemouth Airport.

Teams of three played a ‘Texas Scamble’ tournament which was won by Stuart Freeman, Steven Marshall and Rosalie Freeman.

Club captain Tony Pomeroy presented them with their winners’ medals.

There was also a ‘crazy putting’ competition held on the recently-opened practice and short-game area.

Daryl Dampney, who manages the centre, said: “The new course is bedding down nicely and everyone enjoyed the round.

“It was good fun but more importantly we well exceeded our £500 target for Macmillan Caring Locally.

“Since we have opened the new course and practice facilities we have seen a surge of people turning up for a round as well as an increase in membership.”

Macmillan Caring Locally, based in Christchurch, is a charity that specialises end of life care and gives support to families, carers and friends.

Parley driving people into work

Having assisted many rough sleepers last winter with its ‘sleepsafe’ initiative, Faithworks Wessex is now supporting them into the world of work.

The organisation’s ‘2nd Half’ project helps clients gain experience and references so it’s easier for them to find employment.

Parley Golf Centre was keen to assist and offered practical work for the volunteers who began by painting part of the extensive driving range.

Such was the success that club manager Daryl Dampney has invited them back to do some more.

Alan Purchase from Faithworks Wessex organised the working opportunities, said: “Sleepsafe ran between October and March.

“Nine churches in Bournemouth provided emergency beds for up to 12 people a night.

“We helped 47 people into permanent accommodation over the winter and now we want to help them find work.

“Jobs like painting, gardening and working in a kitchen or café means they gain experience, but also get references.

“Employers want CVs that show experience, and also references – and this is what we can help provide.

“Without places such as Parley Golf Centre offering the work, we would not be able to help these people into employment.”

Daryl, manager of the centre which has had a £250,000 make-over including a new course, said: “All I did was provide the materials and they came and did a great job.

“Part of our driving range needed brightening up and it certainly looks better. Hopefully they can come back and do some more work.

“Ideally, of course, these volunteers will find permanent work – I’d be happy to recommend them”

 

 

 

Pic caption: Daryl Dampney (right) with the 2nd Half Team at Parley Golf Centre

Simon’s first hole-in-one!

The first ever hole-in-one on Parley Golf Centre’s new course has been sunk – by club secretary Simon Hentrich.

It’s his first hole-in-one in more than 40 years playing the game and he ‘jumped up and down and shouted’ as it dropped.

The course is part of the centre’s £250,000 investment programme which also includes a major new short game practice area, indoor coaching facilities and academy holes.

Simon, who has been a member at Parley for four years, was on only his fourth round of the new course when he struck gold.

Using a pitching wedge on the 124-yard 17th hole he launched his ball that bounced before the flag then spun back from its second bounce and into the cup.

Simon said: “Every round until then on the new course I’d gone into the bunker, so I was determined to get it on the green.

“When I hit it I knew it would be safe and my playing partner was shouting ‘in the bunker, in the bunker’, and I said ‘no, in the hole!’

“It bounced before the hole then span back in. I jumped up and down and shouted – it’s my first ever hole-in-one, I couldn’t believe it.

“It cost me a few quid in the café-bar afterwards, but it was worth it.

“I was only on my fourth round of the course so I didn’t know the hole that well – I was just trying to avoid the bunker.

“And I’m delighted to have scored the first ever hole-in-one on the new course because it’s a record that can’t be broken.

“It’s a great new course with Par 3 holes right through to a 624-yard Par 5 and it’s playing really well. We would very much welcome new members.

“I currently have handicap of 11.3 and I want to get it down into single figures – so I need a few more holes-in-one.”

Parley is a ‘pitch-up-and-play’ course opposite Bournemouth Airport and is introducing a variety of new competitions this year.

New course is open!

The brand new course at Parley Golf Centre has officially opened with the captains driving off in front of a big crowd.

The course is part of a £250,000 redevelopment at the centre opposite Bournemouth Airport that has doubled its size.

At 5,169 yards long, the nine-hole course is designed to be challenging but enjoyable – and the first golfers back in the 19th hole said it played superbly.

Opening soon is the dedicated short-game practice area and a huge practice green, to accompany the smaller pre-game practice green.

Two academy holes are available for warm-ups and there is a state-of-the-art indoor coaching area as well as a simulator and shop.

The club captain Tim Parker Christened the course by driving off up the new first fairway and he was followed by Mike Travis, the men’s captain, and Emma Millward, the ladies’ captain.

Looking on were Daryl Dampney, manager of the centre, and Ian Noble, the head greenkeeper who has built the new course.

Daryl said: “We have not only invested a lot of money, but all our staff have invested a great deal of time and effort.

“It was a hugely ambitious project from the start, but the ground staff have worked wonders and crafted a magnificent course.

“Even before it opened membership was growing so quickly that we have had to expand the car park.

“There are nine new greens and seven new fairways and the first to play the course were incredibly enthusiastic about it.

“The new short game area will open soon; it just needs a week or two to bed down. But it will mean we have the best practice facilities in the region – our professional coaches are very excited.

“You don’t have to be a member to play, just turn up and tee off.”

The team which won the first ever competition on the new course were Bob Lloyd, Gary Banks, Logan Davies and Dennis Wilkinson.

Daryl wins turkey with birdie

The annual ‘Turkey Trot’ golf tournament at Parley Golf Centre was the most successful ever – with more than 60 shooting it out.

Manager Daryl Dampney was drawn in the winning team and gave the rest of the field a stuffing, holing a birdie to land the prize of a turkey.

He’ll no doubt be eating out on his victory for the rest of the festive season.

The tournament saw plenty of slices and flightless shots as the lure of the prize attracted a large, competitive field.

Afterwards there was a great Christmas celebration in the clubhouse and much talk about 2017 and the changes it will bring to the centre.

Next year it is opening a new course and practice facilities following a £250,000 investment – and a new golf shop has already opened.

Winner Daryl said: “The Turkey Trot is always popular but we’ve never had more people taking part.

“Although it is a competition the important thing is the social side and there was a great atmosphere afterwards.

“The clubhouse is becoming increasingly popular for non-golfers and anyone can pop in for a drink or a bite to eat.

“We are all becoming excited about the new course and facilities that we’re opening next year.”

Pic caption: Parley Golf Centre’s Turkey Trot winning team (l-r) Daryl Dampney, Shelley Davies, Neil Holdaway (winning team with score of 117)

 

 

 

Golf Store tees off at Parley

Parley Golf Centre, which is investing £250,000 to become the finest practice facility in the region, has opened a new golf shop as part of the development.

The Golf Store is being run by professional Andrew Pakes and is enticing customers with up to 50 per cent off all clothing, shoes and clubs.

PGA Professional Andrew has spent the last 26 years in Europe, coaching some of the top players in Germany and Denmark.

There he developed retail outlets under the Golf Store brand and on returning to the UK found the perfect home at Parley.

The centre aims to open its newly orientated course and practice areas next year, but the present course and facilities are remaining open.

Andrew, who also built at €1m 9-hole Academy course in Vejen, Denmark, said: “As well as selling equipment and clothing I can offer expert, impartial advice and tuition to all levels.

“The shop sells everything a golfer needs and as an introductory offer I’m offering huge discounts for the foreseeable future.”

Andrew was a member of Ferndown Golf Club for 12 years before turning pro in 1983.

After short stints at Meyrick Park, Queens Park and Sherborne golf clubs he moved to Germany and subsequently to Denmark.

He added: “My market and speciality is the beginner and ‘growing’ golfer market, but I have stock for all levels.

“There really is a buzz around Parley and there is nothing else like it around here.

“The driving range is popular especially with its two robots cutting the grass and collecting the balls, and when the new facilities open there will be even more interest.

“There is also a café-bar and a golf simulator so that even fair weather golfers can enjoy Parley all year round.

“When I was looking to relocate to this area I came to Parley and realised it was exactly the right place to open the Golf Store.”

Who made the crop circles on our field?

Stunned staff on the Parley Court Estate in Dorset are trying to work out how a large area of a maize became damaged.

The flattened crop was discovered in a field know as 18 Acres which is close to the estate’s equestrian and golf centres opposite Bournemouth Airport.

The irregular pattern is unlike the more typical crop circles, and localised weather events and damage from an aeroplane seem unlikely causes.

To explore the phenomenon closer, golf centre manager Daryl Dampney flew his drone over the field and saw the scale of the damage, which covers an area of about 100 square feet.

He now believes the most likely explanation is that it was made by people playing Pokemon Go.

The game uses a smartphone’s GPS location and real-world maps to bring computer games into the outdoors.

Players are able to move around and collect free items in the game. And staff believe a Pokemon character was hiding among the maize.

Daryl said: “One of the people who works in the stables found the maize damaged so we went and had a look ourselves. It was all very odd.

“The damage is quite linear and not like a circle and we didn’t know what had caused it. We’ve never had anything like it before.

“I was able to fly the drone over the field because it is far away enough from the airport.

“There doesn’t appear to be any particular shape or pattern, so assuming it was made by people rather than aliens we wondered why someone would do it.

“I’m told that there have been Pokemon characters on the estate so it’s possible that someone damaged the crop while playing the game.”

Crop circles have grown in number since the early 1980s, with many believing they are caused by aliens or some sort of paranormal activity.

However, in 1991 two hoaxers, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, took credit for having created many circles throughout England after one of their circles was described by a circle investigator as impossible to be made by human hand.

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