Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Judas Priest star designs Shropshire golf course

Wednesday 28th July 2010, 10:59AM BST.

A Shropshire golf course designed by the lead guitarist of Judas Priest is to be officially unveiled to the public in the autumn.

Musician Ken Downing will be opening up the course at his home, Astbury Hall, near Bridgnorth. The first nine holes he designed have been played by small groups since they opened this year.

But in mid-September the remaining holes will be unveiled and the course covering 150 acres opened fully to the public.

Mr Downing, who is known to his fans as KK and has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide, said: “Astbury Hall has been borne from my experiences on golf courses from around the world.

“I am fortunate enough to have played some of the finest the world has to offer and I feel privileged to have been able to create a property that encompasses all my cherished experiences.

“I have been lucky to work in two industries that have allowed me to be so creative, especially golf course architecture, which has enabled the visions in my head to be transformed beautifully into a reality.”

Troon Golf has been selected to manage golf operations at the hall, which Mr Downing bought in 1985.


The firm said the course combined natural features, tactically placed bunkers and manicured playing surfaces and was aimed at testing golfers of all abilities.

Twenty teams, each with a celebrity member, will be playing at a Lord’s Taverners charity golf day at the hall on September 15, after which the course will be open to the public.

Scott Christenson, of Troon Golf, said the musician was excited about the opening of the golf course.

Mr Christenson said they had not yet set green fees or membership.

He said there will be a reception area in the hall for those playing golf.

Mr Christenson said there had been a fantastic response from those who had played the first nine holes.

Bruce Glasco, managing director Troon Golf Europe, Middle East & Africa, added: “This is one of the great stories in golf.

“It not only highlights KK Downing’s extraordinary achievement in personally designing such a remarkable course, but it captures the very essence of golf’s universal appeal.

“We are delighted to have been selected to take on such a unique and character filled property and marks another significant milestone for Troon Golf’s growing UK presence.”

There will also be lodges in the grounds that people can buy.

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