THE campaign to promote the golfing riches available along the Sefton and Wirral coastline is being revived.
The marketing initiative – branded England’s Golf Coast – had to be shelved after funding was cut.
Charles Grimley, now secretary at Royal Lytham & St Annes, had been employed to woo golfers from around the world to visit the region.
But government cutbacks forced a re-think. leaving the target area – stretching from Royal Liverpool to Royal Birkdale and then further afield to Royal Lytham and Windermere – without a champion for their courses.
Now 11 of the clubs – from an original contingent of more than 20 – have come together to help provide the financial backing for the banner of England’s Golf Coast to be flying high again. Having made the initial move to re-start the programme, the clubs are hoping others in the area will join them.
England’s Golf Coast promotes itself as the number one golfing destination in the country, with the three royals all being Open venues and seven of the courses featuring in Golf Monthly’s 2012 list of the top-100 courses in UK and Ireland.
Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham & St Annes head the list of the clubs working together and they have been joined by eight other courses including Hillside, Formby, Formby Ladies, Hesketh, West Lancashire, Caldy, Wallasey and Southport & Ainsdale.
PGA professional Geoff Harris, who previously worked at The Grove, Hertfordshire, and Rudding Park in Yorkshire has been named as the new manager of the project.
“I am delighted to announce that England’s Golf Coast has been reformed after a brief break while the group’s finances were reorganised,” said Harris. “It is our intention to do all we can to promote the golf courses and tourist attractions in the area and we will be boosted in those efforts by the fact England’s Golf Coast is home to some of the finest courses in Britain and so is seldom out of the news.
“This year Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake played host to its first Ricoh Women’s British Open and the same course will stage The Open Championship for a 12th time in 2014. Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham also regularly host both the men’s and women’s Opens while Lytham has been invited to stage its first Walker Cup in 2015.”
Campaign spokesman Phil Craghill added: “Eleven of the finest golf clubs in the North West of England have regrouped under the banner of England’s Golf Coast.
“England’s Golf Coast encompasses arguably the finest stretch of golfing land found anywhere in the British Isles.”
The group is now speaking to tour operators, has launched a revamped website and will market to both British golfers and wealthy European and American golfers. There is also a long-term vision to offer discounted green fees for two or more courses in the group as part of a package.
The revival will provide a welcome boost to the hotels associated with the campaign – such as the Hillbark Hotel, Thornton Hall and Spa, The Vincent in Southport and the town’s Ramada Plaza.
It is also providing another outlet to promote the Wirral Golf Classic, a week-long event in the autumn which is played out over four of the area’s top courses and which was held for the third time this year.
FURTHER information about the reformed England’s Golf Coast can be found at www.englandsgolfcoast.com