Heysham Golf Club has won an award for the work it does to get newcomers into the sport.
The club has taken the top prize in the Lancashire Union of Golf Club’s Innovation Awards.
The awards – now in their second year, recognise those clubs taking an active approach to attracting new players.
The club on Middleton Road will also receive £750 towards future projects to promote the sport.
The club launched a series of initiatives aimed at promoting golf over the past 12 months, including investing heavily in new practice facilities which could be used not only by members but by visiting golfers or local residents.
As well as allowing regular players to practice throughout the year, the Swing Lounge and short game area are used to help those returning to the sport or absolute beginners, while it is also wheelchair friendly.
With the help of Sport England Inspired Facilities funding and investment from Clubfit Golf, the club has benefited from £100,000 worth of improvements with the short game area including synthetic mats and greens to allow year-round use.
It features two chipping greens, with eight chipping stations and a bunker, while the slopes of the large putting surface challenge players of all abilities. A pitching area allows players to try finding the green from distances up to 100 yards.
The Swing Lounge features an indoor golf simulator which allows players to tackle a variety of courses from around the world.
It was opened by European Senior Tour player Gary Wolstenholme, a former England amateur international, who conducted a short game clinic at an event attended by 200 people, including local MP David Morris.
The new facilities support the existing floodlit driving range.
PGA professionals Ryan Done and Trevor Newsham – who were supported in the development by Course Manager Dave Hutchinson, his team and the club as a whole, have been visiting local schools and hosting Tri-golf events with local community groups in the north Lancashire area.
Activities have included a golf festival for more than 120 primary school pupils, while Heysham High, Morecambe High and Morecambe Road schools regularly visit the club for group coaching sessions.
The club hosts the local Mencap group every week and has staged ‘Learn to play golf in a day’ sessions alongside longer, five-week Get into golf programmes.
General manager Ed Burrow said: “The facility has been received brilliantly, not just by members but everyone from the surrounding areas, both golfers and non-golfers.
“Numbers of new visitors have increased considerably. All of the activity at the club has increased the visibility and access to golf around the local area and to the general public. Membership has increased as a direct impact of the improved facilities and the outreach programmes conducted by the club professionals.”