When entrepreneur Charles Towlson designed a six-hole putting green in his back garden in Bulwell 14 years ago, he never dreamed it would come to this.
The green hosted the first Bulwell Village Open Championship, which has now become an annual event and is believed to be the longest-established domestic golf tournament in the UK, attracting players ranging from local councillors to local gardeners.
And over the years, 62-year-old Charles has been aaked to design similar six-hole domestic courses, with several in Nottingham, one in Mansfield and even one in Poland.
But now, he has embarked on his most prestigious project to date -- a tailormade course at the Grange And Links Hotel at Sandilands, near Sutton-on-Sea on the Lincolnshire coast.
Charles met the hotel’s managing director, Matthew Fletcher, while on holiday at Sandilands last month. And they immediately found common ground, not only in their passion for six-hole golf but also in the obvious place to design a course together -- the expansive and idyllic grounds of the three-star, privately-owned hotel.
Said Matthew: “The hotel has been associated with the nearby Sandilands Golf Club since 1894. So it seemed the ideal spot to establish a smaller course. Somewhere for anyone to practise, for free, on very professional greens.”
The course will be known as The Grange Garden Links, and Charles added: “Although Matthew took the lead on the scheme, he was more than happy to listen to my advice, incoporate many of my ideas and use my experience of previous similar projects.
“People don’t realise what drama six-hole golf can bring. This course will be a winner!”
The hotel has agreed to sponsor this year’s Bulwell Open, while talks are advanced on setting up a similar annual tournament at The Grange Garden Links.
Charles has also designed board-games, including the world-renowned ‘Gambler’.