PGA Advanced Fellow Anders Mankert has launched the first phase of an exciting new venture at The Leicester Golf Centre, based at the former Oadby Golf Course, which closed six years ago.
Mankert took over Leicester Golf Centre when he leased nine holes of the course, which he has now renamed 'The Gallops'.
Over the last few months he has built a 16-bay floodlit driving range at Leicester Racecourse. Each bay is connected to a Toptracer touchscreen ballfight monitor and is designed to appeal to experienced golfers and beginners alike.
But, as Mankert explained, the 9-hole course will not open for play for a few more months. He said: "The long, hot, dry summer has created some challenges, not least when the new irrigation system broke down, which saw us having to water by hand to save new greens. But it is now looking really good. I think it is only sensible, however, to wait for the greens to become more mature before we start to bring them into play.
"So at this time of the season, it is ideal to put the emphasis on the new driving range. We will be open from 8am until 10pm, and everyone can be assured of a warm welcome. There will be no dress code and we have even introduced our own selected and sourced coffee beans, so anyone who would just like to pop in for a coffee will be equally welcome and made to feel at home.
"Toptracer enables visitors to try their skills on some of the most famous golf courses in the world, and it also enables youngsters perhaps hitting a golf ball for the first time to see just how far and where their shots have gone, be encouraged, and perhaps start to progress from their initial visits into a game which could develop into a lifetime's interest."
Mankert concluded: "It has been a long held ambition to have my own golf course, so this is a highly exciting time in my career. My wife, Pippa, assistant PGA pro Tom James, and my young head greenkeeper Adam Preston, will be working with me at this new golf centre and we will combine to create a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, so that all visitors can enjoy themselves whenever they come along. We cannot wait to see them."
Mankert is an award-winning coach whose career has included working closely with blind and visually-handicapped golfers. He has awarded several year-long scholarships for young golfers which have seen the recipients go on to achieve success in the game, including Ryan Evans, who is now a European Tour pro.
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