Ayrshire's status as a quality golfing destination could be set for another boost if exciting plans to establish the area's first dedicated Golf Development Academy get the go ahead.
The proposed Academy is at the heart of plans being progressed by an operational group comprising Scottish Golf, South Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire Golf Trust to develop the golfing stars of tomorrow, as well as further enhance the already first-class golfing facilities at Belleisle Park.
The group has selected Belleisle Park as the preferred location for an exciting new Golf Development Academy and is about to launch an extensive public consultation, with a dedicated information event at Ayr Town Hall between 6.30pm and 9pm on Tuesday 27 June.
The proposed facility would provide a further draw to golfers from across the world, as well as support the creation of a long-lasting golfing legacy in Ayrshire.
The proposals – which would be subject to available funding from various partners and planning permission – would mean the relocation of three holes on to Old Racecourse in Ayr and the football fields concentrated on the west edge of the facility. These proposals will all be discussed as part of the consultation.
Working with renowned R&A golf architect Martin Ebert, the group is proposing that the development would include a driving range, golf development holes and integrated walks and would elevate Belleisle Park to a whole new level.
It would also allow Scottish Golf to use the facility for Ladies and Amateur tournaments.
Jackie Davidson, Development Officer for Scottish Golf said: "We are excited by the opportunity the site at Belleisle can offer for the development of golf in South Ayrshire – not only for those aspiring players but to support new participants to the sport. Belleisle offers the ideal location, with the cafe and other recreational and sporting facilities in and around the park. These facilities will add to the real community and sporting hub that is being created around Belleisle."
Jill Cronin, South Ayrshire Council's Head of Enterprise, Development and Leisure, added: "This is a really exciting opportunity to improve our already excellent facilities at Belleisle Park and make the most of what we have to offer. It would also support many people to get into golf, ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to get out on the greens. Obviously, this is only very early days and we're keen to hear what people think, so I would encourage all interested parties to come along to Ayr Town Hall on the 27th."
Brian Connolly, Chair of Ayrshire Golf Trust, commented: "We have an opportunity to develop the Park with a state of the art Golf Academy with integrated walks and improved football facilities, and it's important that the public understands and supports our aims. This will be a Social Enterprise model and all profit will be re-invested into the parks. We will also be looking to enhance the golfing, football and walking environments available."