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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.”

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