ONE small swing for Helensburgh Golf Club captain Stuart Graham was one giant shot for the club last week as he hit the inaugural drive at the club’s new Community Golf Academy.

The planning of the Academy began in 2010 and after three years of hard work, Stuart’s shot officially opened the facility.

The captain was delighted to see the new range completed, said: “It is a fantastic facility, we hope that members will use it widely and eventually the public will be coming to use it too.

“The development has taken three years to come to fruition and it is still fairly new in that we’ve only just seeded a couple of months ago but it is now ready for use by the members and the juniors.

“The area will give them a certain area to practice their skills, to hone those skills and to improve their game.” The new initiative, which has been part funded by sportscotland, is currently available to members and will soon be available to non-members while Stuart confirmed plans are already in place to add to the practice area.

He added: “There are further developments to come in the future if we can get more funding we are hoping to cover the practice bays and to put some lighting in. Hopefully, in about 12 months time, we will go for ball collection.” Club members, professionals and guests visited the club for the launch and Martyn Lawrie, Helensburgh Golf Club secretary, added: “After several years of planning and preparation it was fantastic to see phase one coming to fruition with so many members and guests supporting the official opening.

“The success of phase one has given us the encouragement to get our teeth into the phase two development, although I hope that one doesn’t take us another two-and-a-half years.”