The N1Golf Centre, Nottingham, was owned for over 20 years ago by the PGA professional Russell Meek. It is now three and half years since Declan Malone bought the business from the Meek family, and the centre is now perfectly positioned for the 21st-century with over £600,000 spent since purchase, it is now the ideal venue to learn or improve your golf.
There is a busy 24 bay floodlit golf range, a nine hole golf course, a brand-new 18-hole CrazyPutt adventure golf built to the highest standards, a top quality teaching academy and fitting centre, and American Golf will be running the retail at the site from Spring this year. For those wishing to socialise after enjoying one or all of these activities, Grace’s Coffee Shop provides excellent food and drink in an informal setting.
The range, which has been well-equipped by European Golf Machinery, is very popular and is accessed straight from the clubhouse. This provides golfers with the opportunity to take advantage of retail, or food and drink, to and from the golf range; not many golf centres are fortunate enough to have a walk through facility, but there are many advantages for this type of operation.
The CrazyPutt adventure golf course was built by Gary Jenkins and his team, and covers approximately 2500m² and is accessed directly from the car park. The course is well used, particularly at weekends and during the school holidays, and has yet to have its first summer, having opened in the autumn last year.
Declan Malone explains:
“We are thrilled with the reception that the adventure golf course has had. We were expecting to be quite busy, but the level of trade has been far greater then we had hoped. Children, families, youths, seniors and adults of all types come and enjoy the skilful game without requiring any pre-existing experience in the sport of golf. This gives us access to 99% of the leisure market, whereas golf is closer to 5%. At busy times we can accommodate over 100 people on the course and we are expecting to be extremely busy in the summer. Best of all, the adventure golf course is driving new custom also to the site which will benefit our coffee shop, American Golf, our range and course business as well.”
The clubhouse building has been completely converted, with the old golf shop now being the home of Grace’s Coffee Shop - Grace being the name of Declan’s young daughter. The old pro shop has been completely transformed into a bright, new food and beverage area. Customers can eat inside or enjoy the fine weather on the patio just outside. In the old bar area, American Golf are about to move in and occupy this prime position. Throughout most of the day the centre will be accessed directly through the golf shop, which will increase footfall to the retailer and allow for maximum exposure for the customer. Golfers can also use the main entrance, which allows American Golf to close the shop prior to the last customers’ departure.
The course is very popular with beginners and those who wish to play a slightly shorter form of golf. Its city centre location ensures that it is busy throughout most of the summer, but it is not a championship length layout. Footgolf is also available at the centre and there are plans to make a specific new course for this emerging sport.
Declan made his name with the N1Golf academy business. At one time he had over 18 academies that operated as teaching franchises at some of the busiest golf ranges in the country. In recent times he has focused more on the sites that he actually owns himself, which include Riverside and Morpeth. Perhaps his biggest involvement is with the Greenwich Peninsular Driving Range, which he owns in partnership with Knight Dragon landowners, whilst also running the N1Golf Academy. The Peninsula is one of the busiest golf ranges in Europe hitting 14million balls last year and is located right next to the O2 Arena in the heart of London.
The CrazyPutt adventure golf course has been transformational for the Riverside Golf Centre, broadening its appeal whilst also hugely increasing the footfall at the site. It is quite remarkable to see how an exciting game of putting can so completely improve the fortunes of long established traditional golf centres.
CrazyPutt’s second adventure golf course is due to open this Spring at Greenwich Peninsula, along with two further adventure golf courses built at Declan’s other venues, making a total of four CrazyPutt venues by the end of this year.
Gary Jenkins, from UK Mini Golf Ltd, is delighted with how the course has turned out:
“It was a pleasure to provide Declan with what we regard as one of the our best Adventure Golf Courses yet to complement the much improved facilities at Riverside Golf Centre. Our Flintstones inspired kiosk will service not only the Adventure Golf but also Footgolf patrons at busy times, whilst offering welcome refreshments to both!
“Our Dinosaur themed facility will appeal to all ages with its sound and special effects and meandering water feature providing a fun packed value for money attraction for Nottingham.
“We look forward to working with Declan at other N1 Golf locations in the near future to progress the Crazy Putt brand.”
For more details, please visit: riversidegolfcentre.com & www.crazyputtadventuregolf.com