Published: 05:00, 14 October 2021
Sheerness Golf Club’s head greenkeeper has helped produce a new short game practice area at the club while showing he can play a bit too.
Paul Boozer has won two county events in recent weeks, the Ashford Open and the Tiese Trophy, while he and his team set about adding a new practice facility to an already improved venue.
The new area was opened last month with money coming from part of a £2.5m Covid Support Fund provided by the R&A via England Golf. Sheerness successfully secured the maximum £10k grant to aid in developing the club. Much work was needed to be done but Boozer (handicap index 0.7) is a keen player and he’s managed to pick up some silverware at the same time.
At the Ashford Open, a 36-hole scratch Kent County Order of Merit competition, he won by one shot. Lying in third place after a morning gross 73 round, he shot an afternoon 74. He was also awarded the Arthur Albury Cup for the best gross score of the afternoon round.
The following week, Boozer took to the field again, in the Tiese Trophy at Lamberhurst Golf Club. Once again, his morning round left him behind the leader in second spot but he dug in and shot an overall gross 152 to take the trophy by a clear two shots.
Boozer started as head greenkeeper at Sheerness in January 2017 and since then the course has undergone some major changes thanks to his innovation and expertise.
Club secretary Alex Tindall said: “He, along with his dedicated team, has transformed the course no end, putting Sheerness Golf Club firmly on the golfing map.
“To say the club is pleased with Paul’s recent golfing achievements is an understatement. He works extremely hard at both his job and his golf game so the accolade is thoroughly deserved.”
The building of a two-tier practice green with greenside bunkers for specifically practicing the short game was proposed after being identified as a much needed facility to introduce new members to the game by way of an ‘academy’ membership category which will give access to equipment and lessons with the PGA Professional along with the putting green and driving range.
An area behind the existing driving range was cleared and the bunkers and USGA specification green took shape in no time. The club say that since its opening a couple of weeks ago, the practice area has been well used with members enthusing about the finished product.
The club wished to thank the R&A and England Golf for funding the project as well as the individuals who helped make the delivery of the facility possible, namely Michael Byrne of Byrne Construction Ltd, John Mills, the green staff, head professional Andy Thorburn, the management committee and the members for their patience and faith during a difficult time in the club’s history.