Driving range's striking first year

Prairie Sports Village, in Windermere Avenue, has hit the two million golf ball milestone in just 12 months (s)
Prairie Sports Village, in Windermere Avenue, has hit the two million golf ball milestone in just 12 months (s)
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Burnley’s multi-million pound sports village is celebrating a ball-striking bonanza on its first birthday.

Prairie Sports Village, in Windermere Avenue, has hit the two million golf ball milestone in just 12 months since opening its doors to the public.

The sports village has had a phenomenal year with the latest figures showing that the facility has attracted more than 80,000 visits from people in Lancashire and beyond.

They included visitors from Europe and even as far away as China, who were all keen to experience a first-rate facility.

To expand its golf offer, the Prairie has recently entered into a partnership with Quest Golf Academy, an internationally recognised centre for outstanding coaching. Some of their clients regularly travel from around the world for lessons.

The partnership will help ensure the site has some of the most experienced golf professionals on-site with the latest technology to improve and track people’s game.

The academy is run by Rick Shields and Peter Finch, two of Golf Monthly’s Top 25 UK professional golfers, along with new recruit James Goddard, who is concentrating on the junior academy and group sessions.

The sports village has also been given a cash injection by Sport England to install a short game and mini golf area.

The £75,000 golfing adventure was completed and unveiled to the public last month.

The nine-hole mini golf course is inspired by the world’s most famous golf holes and offers people of all ages and skill levels a fun way of getting into the sport.

Neil Hutchinson, head of operations at Burnley Leisure, said: “It’s been an unbelievable first year with the team working extremely hard to make it a success. Not only have we been extremely busy but also managed to add a new partnership with Quest Golf Academy.

“We have just launched the short game of golf area and it’s looking like 2017 will be even busier. Complimenting all this is our bar and bistro, which continues to grow in partnership with Classic Cuisine. The bar and bistro has become an integral part of any visit. People can enjoy a hot cup of tea or grab delicious classic lunch, whilst enjoying views over Pendle Hill.”

The sports village has also been proved popular with football teams booking the flood-lit 3G football pitch.