The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Lenton Times Issue 4 - June 1990

Anyone for Golf?

When local businessman John Street decided he'd like to learn to play golf there were a number of golf clubs he could have joined but they all seemed rather daunting establishments for a rank beginner like himself. Public pitch and put courses were far less intimidating but they couldn't really provide any special help with his game. It was John's initial difficulties trying to master the basics which gave him the idea that eventually bore fruit in the form of ‘The Lenton Lane Golf Driving Range’.

Situated near Clifton Bridge, just off the section of Lenton Lane that takes you down to the River Trent is John Street's golf centre. Here he provides a golf range where you can work on your drive, a green for polishing up your putting technique, and a nine hole short game course where you can check out how your game is coming along.

Looking out from one of the bays at the driving range. Photograph by Paul Bexon

Looking out from one of the bays at the driving range

After which, if a little relaxation and refreshment is called for, there is a lounge bar. Alternatively you can choose to browse in the shop for possible golfing purchases.
The golf range is undoubtedly the main attraction. You can use your own clubs or hire ones there. On payment of £2 a machine dispenses some 80 balls into a wire basket which you subsequently take along to one of the twenty four bays. In your own time you then swing away at the balls. Distance markers out on the range help you calculate how far each ball has travelled and various targets are set out for you to aim at. A little motorised vehicle periodically sweeps back and forth across the range scooping up all the dead balls. Its driver is fully protected by a wire mesh cage so golfers don't need to wait until he's finished and in fact they often relish the challenge of trying to hit a moving target. The range is open each day from 10am to 10pm, except Saturdays when all operations at the centre close down at 7.30pm. At night the range is floodlit and those who feel the cold can enjoy heated bays for a small extra charge.

Professional staff are on hand at the Lenton Lane complex to guide beginners and iron out the faults of those who can already play. Group lessons are available in the evenings and at weekends. A 'computerised' coaching course makes use of a Sportex swing machine which can completely analyse the golf swing. The golfing pro also has the facility to record on video pupils as they work away at their golf shots. Later on when the tape is played back pupils can see for themselves where they are going wrong and learn how they can set about putting matters right. Currently Junior group lessons are being run each Saturday morning on the short game golf course. The children aren't likely to have access to all the latest technology but considering clubs and balls are included in the price of 75p. per lesson it must rate as one of the bargains of the year.

The spacious lounge bar sells John Smith ales and a variety of hot and cold snacks are available throughout the day. Each weekday lunchtime a range of bar meals are put on and these are proving very popular with quite a few people working in the vicinity who like to come along for a work out on the driving range or a quick round on the short game course during their lunch break. Monday to Friday the bar is open from 11am to 11pm. On Saturdays it is 11am to 7.30pm and on Sundays the hours are 12 noon until 3pm and 7pm until 10.30pm. Satellite TV has been installed in the lounge which ensures you can watch all the latest developments at the major golf tournaments as and when they happen. Children are welcome in the lounge though they are necessarily restricted to the children's area where a range of games and toys are provided.

If you’d like to take up golf or are striving to improve your game the Lenton Lane complex has much to offer. No membership is required and you are very welcome to come along and inspect the facilities.

[2010] The golf centre is now know as the Riverside Golf Centre Ltd. and its telephone number is 0115 986 2220.

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