A booming golf club has seen a huge increase in membership over the past year.
Membership at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club has grown from around 350 to 450 over the past 12 months.
Visitor numbers have also increased significantly, with visitation party bookings for the new golfing year already hitting an all-time high.
Bosses say the club, which is in the Moon Valley between Kirkby Lonsdale and Barbon, is enjoying a ‘boom’ in golfing interest nationwide and a series of its own initiatives.
There has also been a surge in female membership, spurred initially by three six-week Get Into Golf beginner courses led by PGA Professional Trainee Ellie Broome.
The club subsequently set up weekly coaching sessions for women.
Ellie has also increased the number of junior members by hosting weekly sessions for youngsters of different ages and abilities and by running junior training camps during school holidays.
The club successfully approached England Golf to run their Girls Golf Rocks courses, which encourage beginner girls aged 5-18 to learn and play golf in a ‘fun and friendly’ way.
Two six-week Girls Golf Rocks courses have been held and since then many of the girls who attended have joined junior groups at the club.
The number of members under the age of 30 has also increased significantly.
Club captain Graham Bywater said the growing popularity of golf and an increase in members and visitors meant the club could afford to make a number of improvements to the course and facilities.
Renovations are underway to the men’s restrooms, showers and locker rooms and there are plans to upgrade the bar and restaurant inside the clubhouse and expand the patio and terrace.
“The bunkers are being renovated, we have hired additional green maintenance staff and upgraded green maintenance machinery,” Mr Bywater said.
Other initiatives include offering businesses membership, which also gives them the opportunity to sponsor a tee. And, on April 24, a “bring a buddy day” will take place, where members can bring three people as guests to introduce them to the club.
Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club was established in 1906 and has stood on its current site since 1991. The 18-hole course measures 6,594 yards and is laid out over 160 acres of countryside. The layout offers two round-trip nine-hole loops to the clubhouse.
Each of the holes has its own character and has four tee options, offering different degrees of difficulty.
Other facilities include a swing hall with launch monitor; a chipping area for the short game; a professional shop selling equipment and clothing; and ten practice bays.
The course is a haven for wildlife including deer, rabbits, hares, stoats and weasels. There is a heronry and swans and ducks nesting on the lake.