White designs new nine hole facility as English golf centre starts transformation


White designs new nine hole facility as English golf centre starts transformation
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Parley Golf Centre near Bournemouth in southern England has launched a multi-year improvement project that will see the centre’s nine hole course and practice facilities transformed.

Owner Hugh Dampney originally planned to expand the nine hole course to eighteen, but changed his mind after visiting specialist golf practice centres in the US. Along with his son Daryl, the centre’s manager, Dampney aims to make Parley the region’s best practice facility. The size of the centre will more than double, the driving range will be extended and floodlit chipping and putting greens will be added. Indoors will be further putting facilities, while a private room with three driving bays will include seating and be available for hire.

Architect Neil White of Evolve Golf Design has redesigned the nine hole course to allow for the expansion. The new-look course will allow for an eighteen hole round with a total distance of 5,111 yards.

White told GCA: “Parley has bold plans to create a quality destination practice facility, and so asked me to come up with a number of nine hole routing options that will give them the opportunity to make the desired changes. The existing range is short which restricts the scope of shots available to golfers. The proposed course design uses new land that has been made available to site seven holes with a further two being laid out upon the existing site. This has freed up a large area adjacent to the current range and will allow for the extension of the driving range outfield which will reach up to 270 metres. The short game practice area has been designed to provide areas for dedicated bunker practice, pitching and chipping greens and a large 1,470 sq m practice putting green aimed at providing ample space for both tuition, personal practice and family putting.”

The project involves an initial £250,000 investment and will take several years to complete. Daryl Dampney said: “Our aim is to create a centre of excellence for golfers of any standard. These types of facility are quite common in the US but less so here and we decided our future lay in this direction. We will ultimately have an extended driving range including a bay that replicates a bunker, and an indoor putting green. Being able to practise driving, bunker shots and putting in the dry will attract golfers even during wet weather. Another part of the scheme is separating several bays in a room and making them available for business meetings or small, social events. There will be seating and catering available. The project will mean that our footprint will more than double and the process will include drainage work and a new course. It is an exciting and ambitious plan that sets out our long term strategy.”