So our very own Sam Burnside, who looks after our golf club relations checked in with Nick Warwick at Lydd Golf Club situated on the beautiful south Kent coast…..
Tell us a little about the history of Lydd Golf Club?
The club was opened in 1994 originally as just a driving range, with 9 holes designed and built soon after. A year later, chief architect Mike Smith added a further 9 holes, creating the challenging Par 71, 6,623 yard course we see today. In more recent times a six hole Par 3 Academy course was built running adjacent to the driving range, complementing our already excellent practice facilities and offering something new to young players and new people to the game.
You mention you are fast becoming one of the finest courses in Kent – what can golfers expect when playing your course?
Golfers who play here can expect a real test of all areas of their game. The links come lakes style offers risk and reward on many holes, with the water being a feature on 12 of the holes. The course plays hard and fast for the majority of the year and drains very well, meaning winter golf is equally as good as in the summer. We never have winter tees or greens and the course very rarely closes, making us popular with society groups who continue their away days throughout the year.
Lydd is passionate about Junior Golf, why is this?
It is important for all golf clubs to realise that Juniors are the future of our game. We encourage young people to come and get involved at our club, with our Junior Eagles Academy the perfect way to get them started. We need to break down the barriers and make golf as inclusive as possible. We have adopted a relaxed dress code in our clubhouse, range and short course to encourage everyone to come and give golf a try. We have a six hole, par 3 Academy Course here which is an ideal way to introduce the golf course to young people, with reachable par 3 holes making good scoring a little more achievable. As they progress through the coaching and Academy course, they are then perfectly prepared to tackle the main course and get involved with the Members competitions.
Tell us about the Junior Eagles Academy?
When I started at the club 18 months ago we ran a classic ‘Roll Up’ class on a Saturday morning which at the time was poorly attended. We laid on some taster sessions to try and revitalise Junior Golf in our area and with great success, to the point where I was having anywhere between 18 and 25 children roll up for the 10am class. Although this was great to see, it became difficult to control and impossible to plan each session as the numbers where getting so high. I decided to make a change to how Junior Golf was delivered here and developed the Junior Eagles Academy. We now offer structured coaching sessions during the school term time which the juniors must sign up to in advance. I run multiple sessions over the weekend with a maximum of 8 in each class, resulting in more one on one focus with each child. Over the term of sessions, we cover all areas of the game, focusing on a different aspect each week. This way, we can cover everything in more detail and the results have been fantastic. We are currently looking to add more sessions each week as the Academy grows and look forward to seeing new faces week on week.
I see the venue is available for events, weddings, corporate functions? The location and gorgeous weather the south coast bring must be appealing?
Yes – we do well with events such as parties, christenings and weddings here. The catering team provide a first class service and the wedding packages in particular are extremely popular. The golf club is an ideal setting for all occasions and it is lovely to be able to use the garden this time of the year as it’s a real sun trap.
Finally, what’s the next challenge for Lydd Golf Club?
My next challenge at the club is to increase the Ladies section. This summer, we are laying on some Ladies Beginner Coaching Sessions and Taster Days to encourage Ladies to come and see what golf is all about. If we can spark some interest through coaching, we are hopeful we can convert some of these players into Club Members within a year or two.