The scenic greens of Heaton Park golf course is open for action after a couple of local lads stepped in to secure its future.
PGA pro-Andrew Terry and business partner Joe Jackon – under the name ‘Heaton Park Golf’ – will take responsibility for the course on behalf of the Manchester council.
The award-winning 18-hole course, three par pitch-and-putt, and clubhouse re-opened today (Friday, February 14).
Heywood duo Andrew and Joe, who grew up playing at Heaton Park, hope that by taking the reins they can get more people involved in the sport.
The course closed last October after an arrangement between the council and Green Circle Estates came to an end.
The operator had taken over temporarily after Heaton Park’s management company, Mack Trading, ceased trading in October 2018.
Having taken over Marland golf course at Springfield Park in Rochdale – and saving it from a similar fate – Andrew and Joe felt Heaton Park was the next logical step.
Andrew, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the golf industry, said: “We felt that we could really improve the facilities at Heaton Park and keep it open.
“Me and Joe grew up two or three miles away and we played at Heaton Park in our childhood, so we knew all about its history and we didn’t want it to close.
“It’s fantastic to get the opportunity to take over what is a great golf course with a fantastic reputation.”
Andrew said the main aim of Heaton Park Golf is to provide an affordable way to play golf for people of all ages.
“We’re trying to remove all the barriers that stop people from getting involved in the sport,” he added.
“Private golf clubs tend to have quite a lot of restrictions on dress codes and when you can tee off.
“But we want to scrap all that. People will be able to wear whatever makes them comfortable.”
Young people aged 16 and under will be able to play golf for free, while youngsters will be able to try out the sport using plastic clubs and soft balls.
Plans are also in place to open a cafe hut on the par-three pitch-and-putt course to provide drinks and snacks.
Since its most recent closure, Heaton Park has been maintained by greenkeepers through the winter while the council searched for a new operator.
Coun Luthfur Rahman, executive member for skills, culture, and leisure at the council, said: “I’d like to offer Mr Terry and Mr Jackson a warm welcome to Heaton Park Golf and am pleased they will be bringing their expertise to Heaton Park, ensuring that the course continues to make golf accessible to as wide a range of people as possible.
“They share our aims for a family-friendly, welcoming facility which will be a sustainable part of the park for generations to come.”