Whitby Golf Club making most of post-lockdown surge in sport's popularity
Whitby Golf Club is making the most of a post-lockdown surge in popularity in the sport.
With golf one of the first sports allowed as the country began to ease its way out of Covid restrictions, there are plans in place to keep golf in Whitby at the forefront of the community.
“There’s a really good feeling and a buzz about the place,” said director of finance Amanda Ing, a former ladies captain.
One of the star attractions at the clifftop golf club is a new swing room simulator, which was bought thanks to a £10,000 grant from the R&A, the sport’s governing body.
“We got the maximum amount to convert the pro shop into a swing room.
“It’s a massive coup for little old Whitby to get the swing room – anyone can book and play. It’s about getting the golf club back on the map.”
The club’s bar and catering facilities, provided by the Willow Branch and which is now back indoors, has been a smash hit with walkers, dog owners and cyclists.
And things are looking promising on the course too, with 113 new members over the past year.
The club – which has been in Whitby since 1892 and is approaching its 130th anniversary – has a thriving new junior academy with 30 members as well as new adult coaching with a focus on women in golf.
Four of the six board members are women which, as Amanda said, is still highly unusual in golf clubs nationwide.
The club has also relaunched its membership packages with focus on more flexibility and better value.
“This is a real good news story which we want to get out there and share with the residents of Whitby,” said Amanda.
After a difficult few years, the board had been tasked with looking at what options they had to get the club back on a firm financial footing.
“Also, it’s to re-establish that although it is on the edge of Whitby, we want to bring the club back to the heart of the town,” she said.
“We are inviting dog walkers and residents to come to the club house – it’s here for everyone.
“The pandemic could have been the end of the road but we used the time to pause, draw breath and think about where we want to go.”
The club is also trying to renegotiate its lease with Scarborough Borough Council, as it aims towards securing golf in Whitby for another 130 years.