GREENKEEPER Neil Smith has been appointed Slaley Hall’s new course manager.

Smith, 44, will bring a wealth of experience to his new role having previously spent 14 years on the greenkeeping staff at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, and the last six years as golf courses and estates manager at Oulton Hall near Leeds.

Slaley Hall head of golf, Jonny Mould, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Neil to the team; he brings invaluable experience with him gained from his time at The Belfry and our group’s Oulton Hall. Neil will be responsible for anything and everything that happens on a 36-hole golf course from drainage and bunker construction to grass maintenance.”

Smith, who will lead a team of nine greenkeepers at Slaley Hall, said: “I’m thrilled to join Slaley Hall as its new course manager and am looking forward to working closely with Jonny and the team as we put our ambitious plans to work. We have two stunning championship courses with unrivalled views to maintain – I’m very excited for the changes and challenge ahead.”

Slaley Hall recently swapped over front and back nines so members and visitors get to play the course in the same order as the professionals during championships. The former tenth hole now provides the start of the round which means the potentially card-wrecking ninth hole is now the last, in order to provide golfers with a more enjoyable and smoother start.

GOLF fitness guru Gavin Ryan is embarking on a crusade to educate golfers on how a targeted fitness regime can deliver on-course results.

Ryan, a former PGA pro with more than 20 years’ experience, including spells as head pro at the London Club and assistant director of golf at the Westchester Country Club in New York, has launched – offering online, one-to-one, group and bespoke VIP fitness coaching.

Ryan is drawing on his past experiences as a pro and from developing scientifically tested golf training programmes with renowned US-biomechanics specialist Skip Latella, who has worked with leading US sports bodies such as the USPGA, LPGA and EPGA, and top US Collegiate Golf Programmes and US Olympic teams.

“Golfers need to understand the positive impact bespoke golf specific training can have on their game. It can totally transform them as I have seen it time and time again,” said Ryan.

“It’s convincing players that this is big in improving their game. Nearly all golfers think nothing of spending hundreds of pounds on a new driver for a solution but when it comes to spending it on the improving the physical elements of their game isn’t event considered.”