Popular rural Chorley golf course is expanding back to a full 18 holes

The current 9-hole course at The Laurels at Charnock Richard (Image: submit)
The current 9-hole course at The Laurels at Charnock Richard (Image: submit)

More than 150 golfers have expressed their delight at attempts to bring a new lease of life to the latter end of the old Charnock Richard Golf Course.

Plans have been lodged by team behind The Laurels at Charnock – the restaurant and function room venue at the golf course – to add to its current 9-hole course by opening up the latter nine holes of the former 18-hole course.

The Laurels at Charnock Richard (Image: Google Maps)

The Laurels at Charnock Richard (Image: Google Maps)

It comes after golfers complained about the “flat and often boring” existing 9-hole course, as noted by MacMarshalls Rural Chartered Surveyors in documents to Chorley Council, leading to the team behind it investigating the need for more golf.

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Owner Stephen Storey said: “It’s going to be the only one around where you can play three choices – the first nine, a second more challenging nine and then if you want to put them both together, you’ve got an 18. It’s going to be quite unique really.

“We haven’t really found anything else that does this so the golfers are really excited about it.”

The former course closed in 2013 before Steven took over the site.

A letter, signed by 156 golfers who use the existing 9-hole course, has been submitted to Lancashire County Council endorsing the revitalisation of the latter nine.

“We want to firstly highlight the high standard and quality of workmanship that has gone into all facilities at The Laurels,” the letter writes.

“Unfortunately, the 18-hole golf course was forced to shut down due to it gaining a bad reputation for being a boring course with few challenging features.

“In order to attract more diverse users the course needs to be more challenging.

“Opening up a more challenging 9 holes will complement the existing 9 holes and give golfers the option of just going the easy 9 holes or extending their round by attempting the more challenging 9 holes.”

In August this year, The Laurels was denied plans to transform the latter nine holes into a holiday caravan park, with camping pods and amenity blocks, because of concerns over the potential impact it could have on the greenbelt land on which it is located.

“[The course] qualifies already in the greenbelt so there’s going to be no change this time. We’re upgrading what’s already here,” explained Stephen.

“We have invested around £4.5 million altogether. We’re not messing around.

“It’s better for the area. Charnock Richard is not on the map. Nothing has been invested in Charnock Richard for years and years.

“People are supporting this. This was a derelict place and dumping ground before. Everyone is really excited about it.”

As part of the previous creation of the first 9-hole course, 11 holes of the old course were repurposed to create a larger area for golfers.

Steve said the remaining seven unused holes have been repurposed to create the new nine.

Prior to Mr. Storey’s ownership former Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan had earmarked the site for a state-of-the-art training ground for the Latics.

But following financial difficulties at Bolton Wanderers he opted to move into the Trotters’ ready-made premises at nearby Euxton.