Headingley has been transformed in the past few years. Manager Jon Hall dishes out his top ten tips to explain how yours can follow suit... In recent years Headingley has emerged from the pack to elevate itself into one of Yorkshire’s leading courses. In 2021 it hosted the men’s and women’s English Amateur which brought rave reviews from the players and England Golf alike and it has become a club that has refused to stand still. Next year will see the unveiling of a world-class short-game area, the following year their driving range will re-open bigger and better than before. The course has been improved beyond recognition in recent years and it is a thriving club that is very much on an upward curve. Manager Jon Hall explains how the change has been effected. 1 Woodland management project of 2014 While the trees that we had were put in with good intentions in the second half of the last century we had become aware through experience and education that they were the wrong type of trees. Also, due to a lack of management, many of the copses had become too dense and were not conducive to encouraging fine turf. We would always have to spend hundreds of man hours in October and November clearing leaves as it’s not pleasant to play golf with leaves everywhere and they were doing all the wrong things to the course. We sought professional advice from John Nicholson, who is a renowned tree expert and subsequently we removed something like 3,000 and the course now looks like it did 30 years ago. Inspired by our success, the same team have gone on to do similar projects at Sand Moor and Pannal which are nearby and peer courses to Headingley. The overall benefit is that the quality of Headingley’s greens is testament to this project. 2 The practice facilities improvement project Historically our practice facilities were poor and were simply not good enough for a course of our standard. Now by embarking on an infill project, we’re in the process of turning our long-game area into something that is very good and we’re going to make the short-game area into a first-class facility. Everyone loves a brilliant short-game area and when you go abroad you see them everywhere but, for a variety of reasons, there are a lack of them in the UK. There will be several different teeing positions with a high quality artificial turf, bunkers and target greens at varying distances ranging from 25-100 yards and it has been designed to accommodate a number of people practising at the same time. Every aspect of the short-game area has been factored in and the hope is that it will be one of the best in the North of England. It is anticipated that it will be available to use next summer while the long-game area will be completed in 2024. 3 Year-round golf We pride ourselves on our year-round playability and we really do not...
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