Kenny Monaghan, the PGA Professional at Stirling, is ‘really excited’ about a new community academy taking shape at the end of the club’s 150th anniversary, writes Martin Dempster.
The project, which is costing £150,000, comprises a long-game academy, two short-game academies, a putting academy and a six-hole short course.
The work is being carried out by renowned golf course architect Harold Swan, with the new facility scheduled to be up and running for the start of the 2020 season.
The club secured a £50,000 grant from SportScotland for the project, with the club matching that amount through members backing the initiative.
The new short course will make it easier for the club’s junior programme pathway “Kids At The Castle” and also help a “Get Into Golf” programme that aims to progress people to the main course.
It will also provide an alternative playing option for new golfers/senior members looking to play shorter/easier/faster courses.
“I am really excited about this new project,” said Monaghan. “I have personally been involved from the start and worked hard along with my colleagues, some club officials and our course architect to get to this point.
“Our members have supported this project and see the potential for the future. I have been at the club for about 20 months now and during this time we have achieved so much.
“A new Pro shop and indoor fitting/teaching studio, the introduction and growth of a junior programme while developing the golf course with the completion of our bunker project.
“We have a strong membership, a pro-active committee and a group of hard-working colleagues all trying to buck the trend in the scottish golf market.
“Our new facilities will no doubt further enhance the product that we have to offer here at Stirling Golf Club”.
The facility is also being created to encourage those who are disadvantaged or challenged in the community and might not normally have the chance to start playing golf.
Club captain Andy Malcolm added: “In the 150th year of the club, we are excited to be developing an academy and practice ground to meet the future.
“The club and area has been linked to golf for over 500 years, the game is constantly evolving and we need to keep pace with change.
“Developing a purpose-built facility will hopefully help attract youth to the game and offer an option to disability groups and those with mobility issues.
“Golf has been linked to aiding mental health issues, particularly PTSD and we are keen to promote the benefits of golf to groups particularly those in the armed and emergency services.”
This season, the club held a Scottish PGA Spring Series event and next season it will also host a Scottish national junior event.