Drew opens new practice facility at Donaghadee GC

Gordon Drew hits the opening shots at Donaghadee'a new practice facility

RYDER Cup veteran Norman Drew, famed for his outstanding short game, was a fitting guest of honour at the official opening ceremony of the Donaghadee Golf Club Practice Academy last week.
This uniquely designed teaching and practice facility, aimed at developing the short-game of players of all handicaps marks a very special moment in the club’s illustrious 111 year history.
Gordon Drew, Norman’s son and Donaghadee Golf Club professional, joined his father and local dignitaries in marking the official opening of the brand new facility by being the first to tee-off on the superb course following the cutting of the ribbon by his father.
The Practice Academy course, designed by leading course architect Howard Swan of Swan Golf Designs, boasts up to nine holes constructed and bunkered to the most stringent USGA specifications.
The cleverly designed six holes on the outfield of the course also double as a short range, making this a fantastic addition to Donaghadee Golf Club’s par 71 main course, ideal for perfecting the short-game of even the most experienced players.
The creation of the practice academy was made possible by the support and funding of Sport Northern Ireland, who recognised the need, particularly among junior golfers in the County Down area, for a development faciliy.
Donaghadee GC has long been associated with the development of junior golfers, including distinguished stars such as Norman Drew, Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and recent U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell.
The significant investment in the practice academy by Sport Northern Ireland, has helped to ensure Donaghadee GC remains one of the shining examples of local golf.
Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive Eamonn McCartan commented: “As the lead agency for the development of sport in Northern Ireland, we are delighted to be able to support this project.
“Increasing participation in sport and physical activity, and increasing performance standards within sport are key objectives for Sport Northern Ireland and this new facility will undoubtebly achieve this goal.”
Speaking of the launch, Club Captain Jeff Aiken said, “We are very excited to have launched the Practice Academy, which makes a fantastic addition to our main course as a development facility unrivalled in the County Down area.  We have many exciting events planned for the Practice Academy and we look forward to the full use of the facility by members of all ages and abilities.”

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