Golf fans, you’re in for a treat! Following months of hard work, planning and preparation, Award winning PGA Advanced Fellow Anders Mankert is opening the refurbished 9-hole course by Leicester Racecourse this month, with the launch day on Saturday 25 May.
His 9-holes course, to be known as The Gallops, includes three new holes, and marks the second phase of his exciting and extensive redevelopment of the old Oadby course which closed in spring 2012.
Of course, phase 1 was the highly sophisticated driving range with touch screen television Top Tracer technology to each of the 16-bays. It’s so good it’s already been voted in the top 3 driving ranges in the country and has been extremely popular with visitors – golfers and families alike – since it opened late last year.
Now the scene is set for the eagerly awaited opening of the 9-holes that he leased of the original 18-holes course. What sets it apart is the atmosphere and welcoming nature of the course. Gone are the strict memberships, dress codes and traditional golf rules, The Gallops is about enjoying golf and having fun.
Mankert explained: “Work on the course itself was affected by last summer’s torrid heat and I wanted to ensure they would be completely ready for play when I opened them.
“It is incredibly exciting. The warmer spell of weather has helped. So has the new irrigation system, but I am absolutely determined all the holes should be in the condition I want, so have not rushed them at all.
“They look really attractive and I have enjoyed playing them myself. They are a good challenge, 3,000 yards long, with a par of 35, from the champions tees. But there is a choice of three tees from which golfers can choose to play – the oak log tees, where the markers were created from an old oak which had to be cut down to build the new driving range, from the horseshoes, or the whites.
“Golfers can play from whichever tees they choose. We just want everyone who comes along to have some fun. The accent is firmly on enjoyment on the new course, just as it is on the driving range.
“We do not have any stiff rules and regulations regarding dress, just encourage everyone to make the most of all our facilities, and respect them while they are here.
The response to the driving range has exceeded my expectations in the interest it has created.
“Everyone is excited about the opening of the new course too, so I am hopeful this enthusiasm is maintained once we are ready to go.
“The atmosphere is always lively here, no matter what time of the day or evening, people decide to pop in – on their way to or from work perhaps, or for an evening out with friends with a sporting theme at its heart.
“They may come for tuition, to hit balls, or just for a coffee. Now they will have the extra option of a round of golf.”
Following the opening of The Gallops, more is in the pipeline, with work already underway on yet more facilities at the Leicester Golf Centre, including a top class short game area, which will be open to visitors free of charge.
He added: “I am confident this will be the best amenity of the type anywhere in the county. Golfers will be able to practice all types of shot, including chipping and pitching to a putting green. There will be bunkers of four different depths too so they can focus on their short game skills.”
From Saturday 25 May Leicester Golf Centre will be open from 8am to 10pm daily. Coaching will be available with Anders Mankert, or with his PGA assistant Tom James, for beginners, including juniors upwards, as well as more accomplished golfers – men and women, boys and girls – looking to achieve their full potential in the game.
The driving range and The Gallops are both situated at Leicester Golf Centre at Leicester Racecourse, LE2 4AL. You can keep up to date with developments from them on Twitter.