Family-friendly Oulton Hall proves age is just a number

Mixed age at Oulton Hall

Twenty-four golfers participated in an ‘all-age’ competition at family-friendly Oulton Hall, near Leeds, as the four-star resort continues to develop its ‘grow the game’ policy.

Six juniors, six ladies, six men and six seniors combined to form six fourballs, with ages from eight to 76, as the club demonstrated the accessibility of the sport for all.

The winning team – Don Crosland (senior), Sarah Wass, Lewis Dickinson and Jacob Moss (junior) – scored 51 points for the nine-hole Stableford competition, with the two best scores counting on each hole. Second, with 49 points, were Alan Paul (senior), Hayley Cooper, Steve Cain and Henry Smith (junior).

Thomas Devine, who, as director of Oulton Hall’s FUEL golf (FUture ELite) programme, works weekly with around 170 juniors, aged between five and 16, said: “These sorts of events are hugely beneficial for the children, as it allows them to develop their confidence and personal skills when playing with adults they do not know.

“But they offer much more than simply that. For the other participants there’s often a realisation that the juniors are as passionate about the sport as they are – and it can help rid them of some preconceived ideas about kids. It’s always fascinating, too, to see how quickly a bond develops between the youngest and oldest members of the group.

“I think the juniors were very pleased to get some tips from some of the adults … or maybe it was the other way around,” smiled Devine.

Director of golf Jon Pilkington added: “This is a new initiative designed to help promote ‘golf for all’ at our facilities. We feel it is a hugely important message when trying to grow the game and, having received lots of positive feedback from both competitors and other members, we will certainly be looking to hold further such events in the future.”

Oulton Hall features 27 holes designed by leading golf course architect Dave Thomas and outstanding practice facilities, including the north of England’s leading golf performance centre.

Along with Oulton Hall’s renowned golf academy, the top venue offers a range of other facilities aimed at fine-tuning the swing, while the Claret Jug course restaurant is the ideal place to re-energise after a long day on the course. Its unique 18th-century former family mansion is the perfect choice for a hotel, with landscaped gardens, sweeping spiral staircases and a state-of-the-art spa.