Horncastle - is it the start of a golf revolution?

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Horncastle Golf Club could be handed a desperately needed new lease of life by becoming one of the first courses in the country to stage a revolutionary form of the sport.

The club has been in the doldrums for several months with membership slumping and visitors numbers dwindling.

Now, Grimsby based Stu Warren - one of the top coaches in the county - has come up with an idea which he believes could put the club back on track and shake up the entire future of the sport.

Hi s idea will see seven different tees introduced on all 18 holes at the Horncastle club.

Players will be able to choose which tee they play off, depending on ability and how far they hit the ball.

Mr Warren explained: “Horncastle has been struggling for a long time. It is sandwiched between Woodhall Spa, Louth and Kenwick Park and can’t compete with those clubs.

“It’s tried but failed. It has to try something different.

“What we are putting on is different. We’re not just taking down the traditional barriers of golf - we’re smashing them to pieces.”

Mr Warren has ‘borrowed’ ideas for his action plan from America, but says most of them are his own.

He adds: “There are probably three or four golf clubs really thriving in Lincolnshire.

“People are still playing golf but for some reason there’s a reluctance to join a golf club.”

Mr Warren says for the majority of players, golf can be a long, hard slog.

He adds: “You sit and watch people come off the course and basically they have been bashed up.

“They’ve probably had three or four decent holes at best and the reason? Courses are set up for the elite few - not the majority. We’re aiming at casual golfers - the majority.”

Mr Warren says the seven tee approach will enable more people to ‘enjoy and improve’ their game.

Staff are working overtime to improve the course before a free weekend of golf on June 16/17.

Mr Warren added: “We want everyone to come down and give it a go. We’re aware of what has gone (at the club) in the past but we’re starting at zero. This will work. It has got to work.

“People can still play the full length course - or they can mix and match the tees, whatever they want. Our logo is ‘It’s golf with a smile. It’s challenging, exciting and different.’”

There are a full range of other offers including an innovative green fee structure - starting at £4 for four holes , a loyalty card , full membership and corporate membership.

Mr Warren added: “If this is a success at Horncastle, it could be rolled out at other clubs. It could transform golf in this country.”