Burnley Golf Club’s new £50k centre a big help to learners

A new tuition centre at Burnley Golf Club is helping golfers – young and old – get into the swing of things.

The Glen View Road club secured £50,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England in order to build the academy centre, which houses a state-of-the-art indoor golf simulator, the first of its kind in East Lancashire, and two large teaching bays.

Lady captain Maureen Barson,  PGA professional Sam Punchard, Gordon Birtwistle and men's captain, Lee Corns

Lady captain Maureen Barson, PGA professional Sam Punchard, Gordon Birtwistle and men's captain, Lee Corns

Liberal Democrat Gordon Birtwistle officially opened the facility last month and trustee Joyce Green told the Express it showed just how progressive the club was.

“The idea all started around two years ago. We were having students up here from the college and the university who were wanting to take up golf but they didn’t have the proper clothing and when the weather was getting bad they were getting wet and getting very disillusioned.

“So we thought, if we had a facility where we could have groups of young people coming for all year round tuition then that would be perfect. We need young people, they are the future of the club.

“The facility is for golfers right across the spectrum though. Golf is a fantastic game which can be played by any age.

It’s a great facility and I think it will be a massive pull for the people of Burnley and the surrounding areas

Sam Punchard, Burnley Golf Club’s PGA Professional

“We had some four-year-olds here a couple of weeks ago with fantastic swings and we have people who play here regularly who are well into their 80s. It’s a game for life, sport for life.”

Burnley Golf Club recently appointed their new PGA Professional, Sam Punchard, who will be responsible for co-ordinating all the golf tuition.

Sam said the new academy was not just a massive boost for the club but the town as well. “It’s a great facility and I think it will be a massive pull for the people of Burnley and the surrounding areas. It means on bad weather days people can come up, they can practise, they can play indoors. It means that I never have to cancel a lesson with anybody.

“The simulator is the one they use on Sky Sports. Basically it tells you everything you need to know from how fast the ball is coming off your club, how far it’s travelling, to the spins rate, basically everything you need to know.

The centre has an indoor simulator

The centre has an indoor simulator

“There doesn’t really seem to be anybody at the moment pushing junior golf in Lancashire. I think people have just taken their eye off promoting and pushing it recently when really, that is the future of clubs.

I think it is important to push that.“

He has also taken it upon himself to revamp the club shop.

“I am trying to stock every brand possible, especially the hardware. From Ping, Titleist to Callaway, Taylor Made, Nike, Galvin Green, Under Armour, all the Nike clothing.

Burnley Golf Club

Burnley Golf Club

“I just really want to make sure we can offer something for everyone. We want to offer that service as a golf club. We want to fulfil as many areas as we can, with coaching, with the academy, with the membership, with the bar and catering services and also the shop”

Burnley Golf Club’s men’s captain Lee Corns said; “The launch event was a great success and was very well attended. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful facility at our club that offers so much in golf tuition, available all year round. It will be a great attraction to all levels of golfers, from complete beginners right through to elite golfers. We are keen to attract new members to our club and the golf academy centre will add another dimension to all the great facilities we have on offer.”

To encourage more young people into golf, the club is offering free lessons to junior golfers on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. Equipment is provided, just ring Sam on 01282 455266, Ext 2, for more details.