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The world’s first commercial golf court will be opened on Wednesday 23 May 2001 at Lensbury conference centre, at Teddington Lock, by the former world number one woman golfer, Laura Davies.

A Lensbury groundsman alerted Lesley White, general manager, to the idea of a golf court. As a golfer, she grasped the concept immediately and was determined that Lensbury would be home to the first golf court in the world.

A golf court is a new concept in golf, designed by Compac Golf Ltd, that enables a full 18-hole round to be played on 18 acres of land compared to the average 150-acre golf course. The concept can also be adapted to fit smaller areas of land.

Mathematically designed to include four greens and eight tee areas, a golf court offers players all the challenges of a full 18-hole course, incorporating Par 3, 4 and 5 holes on a smaller area and can be completed in far less time. The game on a golf court is very easy to follow, the tee and yardage markers and flags are all colour coded. Each hole is different --- they vary in both length and perspective. A golf court is as safe as a golf course and each golf court will undergo a PGA safety audit.

There are many benefits to playing golf on a golf court. As the game can be played by the hour, it can be enjoyed by:

  • younger, less experienced players

  • experienced and professional players

  • people with tight schedules with not much time for leisure activities

  • retired people who may not wish to spend four or more hours on the course

Like a tennis court, a golf court can be booked by the hour offering the golfer the flexibility of playing six holes in one hour, 12 holes in two hours or a full 18 holes in just three hours. The game is considerably quicker than on a conventional golf course because the unique system of play means waiting time is virtually eliminated.

The potential for golf courts is enormous. Hotels, conference centres, property developments, universities, inner city areas and leisure clubs are just some of the areas with limited space that could feature a golf court.

A traditional golf course costs in the region of £2million to build, a golf court is around £300k. It is inexpensive to maintain, requires very little watering and, being so compact, is easy to floodlight for night-time golf.

Bob Hunt of PGA Golf Management, who advises on the building of golf courses, comments: "It means having the opportunity to play golf safely to the Royal and Ancient rules and it will bring golf to a whole new category of players for whom golf has not been feasible or available before."

If you would like to hear more about golf courts, contact John Sale or Peter Bailey on telephone 020 8449 0090.




What is a golf court?

Golf is normally played on a 150-acre, 18-hole course and takes around four hours to complete. A golf court is a new concept in golf enabling a full 18-hole round to be played on only 18 acres of land. It is mathematically designed to incorporate one main fairway, four greens and eight tee areas as well as the familiar features such as bunkers, streams, trees and lakes. It offers the player all the challenges associated with a full 18-hole course which can be completed in just a fraction of the time --- players have the flexibility to play six holes in one hour, 12 in two hours or 18 in three hours.

Where is the first golf court located?

The first golf court is at Lensbury at Teddington Lock. Lensbury is a sports and leisure club and conference centre with 160 bedrooms. Unbelievably, the concept has been adapted to fit onto just six acres of land on the banks of the Thames to give an 18 hole, par 3 golf course.

How is this possible?

The combination of four greens and eight tee areas provides 18 individual holes and tees. Each hole is different and varies in both length and perspective. Up to six holes, in one hour, can be played in three simultaneous matches of two, three or four players. As on a normal golf course each match follows in succession. A golf court is as safe as a golf course and each golf court will undergo a PGA safety audit.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of golf courts are numerous: areas where land is at a premium due to limited availability, over development or difficult terrain; areas where water is in short supply ---a golf court only requires ten percent of the water used to irrigate a normal course. In addition, a golf court is less expensive to maintain and costs around £300k to design and construct, compared to £2 million for a conventional golf course.

Who will this concept appeal to?

Because of their compact size, golf courts can be attached to hotels, conference centres, business parks, universities and private homes who may already have a swimming pool or tennis court in their garden. They are ideal for disabled players and for inner-city areas where land is at a premium. They can even be flood-lit for playing night-time golf.

Who can play on a golf court?

The flexibility enables players to play the game to suit their own timetable. It is ideally suited to beginners, busy parents, executives with a hectic schedule, seniors and professional golfers.