The Vic Ambler Golf Centre is an all weather practice facility on the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus

Golf Centre opens its doors to the community

Opportunities for local golfers old and new are set to greatly expand with the opening of the Vic Ambler Golf Centre on 28 June.

Accompanied by a raft of free events throughout the summer, the Centre on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus, features a 250m2 pitching green, 120m2 putting green, two driving nets and an eco-bunker.  Golf professional Steve Buzza has also been enlisted to deliver coaching programmes to the community.

The course was designed by market leaders Tour Greens Europe, who, besides the University, have provided practice areas for a number of big names including Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.

Bespoke landscaping combines synthetic greens with natural rough areas to create an incredibly varied array of challenges allowing players to practice an “almost inexhaustible number of shots”.

University High Performance Golf Manager, Craig Townsend, has been central to the projects completion commented: “We’re very excited to be opening our doors to the public and we have a lot planned.

“It’s a really unique facility, the only one of its kind in the South West and we want to make sure as many people get to benefit from it as possible. Short game can form up to 70 – 80% of your shots, so is a crucial element of the sport.

“As well as helping current players improve we want to provide an opportunity for new players to experience golf too – Steve is a brilliant new asset to our team, and will be overseeing our new community programme which kicks off in July.

“Throughout the summer we’re running a variety of free Get into Golf taster sessions, including Women’s only coaching on Wednesdays and a beginner’s 16-25 year old sessions on a Friday.”

For those who prefer individual practice, the facility will also be available on a pay as you go basis from just £5.00, with annual memberships also available for regular users.

The Centre is also running coaching camps throughout the school holidays for 6-10 year olds alongside a year-round children’s programme.

Craig added: “Golf is no longer seen as an old peoples sport. Players like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have created a new generation of golf fans, which is fantastic. We want to help drive this enthusiasm and nurture home-grown talent from a young age, to ensure that golf can be enjoyed for generations to come.

“Golf doesn’t have to be an expensive sport to enjoy, we aim to create a space that breaks down some of the perceived barriers to playing golf.

“Having something so close to town with on-site parking is also a real advantage. Players can just turn up and practice for an hour, or even half an hour if they want, without having to drive out to a club.

“When you come to the Sports Park you can already book a tennis court or a cricket lesson, so why not do the same for golf? It doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Further information and a full itinerary of on the Vic Ambler Golf Centre’s summer programme is available on the Vic Ambler Golf Centre webpages.

Date: 23 June 2014