Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Golf: IN FULL SWING; New Look Norton Club Is Building on Excellence GOLF NOTES

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Golf: IN FULL SWING; New Look Norton Club Is Building on Excellence GOLF NOTES

Article excerpt

Byline: By ALLAN BOUGHEY

IT'S full steam ahead at Norton Golf Club after a period of sweeping changes.

The Tees Valley course, situated behind what was Harpers Garden Centre, has a new entrance, a new club building and a new lay-out.

The course, which used to be approached through the garden centre car park from Junction Road in Norton, is now only accessible from nearby Blakeston Lane.

The garden centre along with the golf course's former entrance and car park has all been sold for development and the diggers are already on site.

It gives the impression from Junction Road that the golf course itself no longer exists - but nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the pay and play venue is going from strength to strength under the guidance of Mark Harper - part of the family who ran the golf course from Junction Road - together with the committed and loyal staff who have carried on working for the family business.

For a start, the new course lay-out is a real success and the par 70 (73 off the red tees) offers a nice mix of holes and is quite a test with lots of features to keep you thinking.

For instance, there are no fewer than 10 different lakes and ponds dotted around while there are plenty of established, as well as more recently planted, trees and a good degree of sand too.

The greens are often two-tiered with lots of defensive mounds while the putting surfaces are smooth and true.

It all adds up to a pretty demanding track that is well managed by the five green staff.

But Mark doesn't intend to rest on his laurels but rather build on what has become a very popular alternative spot for club players as well as a beacon for those who are not club members and prefer the more relaxed and uncomplicated form of golf.

Mark and all the staff are planning plenty of improvements to add to the existing well-maintained course and are always looking for ways to maintain high standards. …

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