Nottingham’s Highfields Park welcomes pitch-and-putt golfers
This weekend you can take a few practice swings then set your shoulders and eye the next pin at Nottingham’s biggest 18-hole opportunity outside the Wollaton Park and Bulwell golf clubs.
But you can leave your woods and irons at home. A supplied putter is all you will need at Highfields Park Adventure Golf, the newly-landscaped pitch-and-putt challenge whose opening this weekend marks the latest stage of the upgrade of the popular park.
Situated in Highfields Park off University Boulevard, alongside Highfields lake and Lakeside Arts complex, and overlooked by the imposing buildings of the University of Nottingham, the attraction is expected to pull in 1,500 players on busy summer weekends.
A crack at all 18 holes will cost £7 but if you can’t spare the hour or so needed to complete the course, £4.50 buys you nine holes. There are concessions for children and seniors. “It’s a competitive market but we’ve got a bit of experience,” says developer Dave Lowe of artificial grass specialists Showcase Greens. “We have set up courses in London and Warrington and their success has helped pay for this.”
The operators have the 2,500 square metre site on a ten-year lease from Nottingham City Council and a £250,000 investment has seen the creation of a covered reception pavilion, serving drinks and snacks, the 18 holes – mainly par two and par three tests – and landscaping which reflects local themes. You will see a timber sculpture of a Wollaton Park stag, the cricket stumps and large football representing the Trent Bridge sporting neighbourhood and even a reference to the pool that was once a feature of Highfields. And, as a nod to the neighbours, sculptures of textbooks and mortar-board academic caps. There has been interest from the neighbouring university campus, and talk of a student pitch and putt league.
Dave and business partner Josh Bartlett bring to the party not only a lot of know-how with artificial grass, but also a love of the sport. Josh was a member of the Seacroft club at Skegness and Dave has rubbed shoulders with the greats of the game. He has crafted artificial greens for Darren Clarke and Nottinghamshire’s Lee Westwood, and for passionate amateur golfers like former England footballer Michael Owen and former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan.
Dave will be kept in day-to-day touch with the project by site manager Jordan Foster, who happens to be his stepson. Jordan’s girlfriend Laura Walton-Taylor is also part of the team and another recruit was due to join the staff this weekend.
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