By Sandy Driver, Golf Correspondent
A Suffolk golf club is installing undersoil heating to ensure its members can enjoy playing all year round.
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club will spend millions on the system under all 18 tees, fairways and greens, with work expected to be completed in time for next winter.
It is believed the system, more commonly used in sports stadiums for football, will cost up to nine million pounds to install, but club management say members will not be expected to fork out too much.
A spokesman said: “We have received a grant from the Nordic Golfing Foundation which is keen to understand if the technique can allow all-year golf in the frozen wastes of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.”
He added that green fees or membership fees may not have to be reviewed as some wealthy members might like to cough up some cash as a donation.
The undersoil heating will ensure the course at Tut Hill will be playable in winter when snow and ice traditionally causes problems.
“Players are frustrated if we use temporary tee boxes or temporary greens, so this will be a great bonus for them.
“It will mean golf in Suffolk is truly available for 52 weeks of the year.”
The club will carry out the work on one hole at a time between now and November.
The course will, therefore, have just 17 holes available in the meantime, with players being allowed to select which one to play twice.
Lorraine Fisher, 34, a director for Soiled Pipes Sport Ltd, said: “We have to dig up the tees, fairways, greens and everything before laying the network of pipes.
“We’ll then cover them up again and hand over to the greenkeeper to try to grow the grass back as quickly as possible.
“He has expressed some concern about the condition of the greens afterward, but we’re confident everything will return to normal.”
This winter has seen several annoying icy blasts, which has left the region’s golfers frustrated.
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