Big plans for Leeds golf course

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The golf course at a Leeds stately home could be drastically altered to attract more players to the game.

Leeds Council has released proposals to 're-configure' the Temple Newsam facility and reduce the number of holes from 36 to 27.

The two 18-hole courses at the council-owned club would be replaced by a full-size course and a new nine-hole section for inexperienced golfers and those new to the sport.

The dramatic changes have been suggested following a huge fall in revenues at the east Leeds course.

The number of pay and play rounds has fallen from just below 20,000 a year in 2011 to around 7,000 in 2016, with income dropping from £275,000 to £139,000 in the same period - a reduction of nearly half.

Managers believe this is due to the Lord Erwin and Lady Dorothy courses being too challenging for novice golfers. By reducing the number of holes, they aim to improve the quality of the courses and make the facility more welcoming to less experienced players.

The council is also hoping to increase interest in golf from low-participation groups including women, ethnic minorities, juniors and the elderly.

The golf club has collaborated fully with the proposals, and the council has now opened a public consultation to allow people to comment on the plans.

Any of the golf course's land vacated by the new development would be returned to the Temple Newsam estate to become natural habitat.

To take part in the consultation, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/parksconsultations to complete the response form before the deadline of February 28.

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