ANIMALS await golfers who venture on to the new course in Bognor Regis.
The first visitors to the Wildforest Falls attraction in Hotham Park have enjoyed pitting their skills around its 18 holes populated with models of a bear, a fox and a squirrel among others. The clock tower of Hotham Park House also provides a putt-through on one of the holes.
The adventure golf course – which cost six figures – was opened on Tuesday through the partnership between Arun District Council and its outdoor facility management contractor, ISS Facility Services.
Cllr Jacqui Pendleton, Arun’s chairman, said: “This project is close to my heart as it will help give our youngsters, both residents and visitors, a superb opportunity for enjoyment in the park and even, perhaps, improve their golfing skills.
“Hotham Park is the jewel in the crown of Bognor Regis, providing delightful surroundings for leisure pursuits.
“Arun District Council has succeeded in improving and maintaining this park to a very high standard year on year…”
ISS managing director Phil Jones said the golf course was an example of the way partnerships between councils and companies could produce benefits.
“At a time when public/private partnership and public sector out-sourcing is in question in some areas, I would hope this is a very good example of how things work very well together when we work in partnership.
“This is a facility for the future. It is a destination facility. There’s no doubt about it. It will bring not just prosperity to the local area but it will also enhance the community.
“It will deliver tourists and tourism benefits the economy of the area and that has to be good for us all.”
Arun has worked with ISS for more than 20 years. The course has been created on the site of the park’s pitch and putt next to its northern wall. Extra parking spaces have been made for the course and a kiosk built to sell some refreshments.
Arun director of services Philippa Dart said: “It is really exciting to see the golf course open. It is a quality facility.
“I am delighted we are in a position to deliver it for the people of the district.
“I think it will take the park to another level and make more people want to come in. It is on the doorstep of the University of Chichester and Butlin’s and provides an outdoor activity away from the beach
One of Arun’s councillors for the park, Cllr Paul Wells, said: “This is a fantastic facility and will add to the work that has been done in the park.
“Hopefully, this will match some of the facilities we have along the seafront.”
Hotham Park Heritage Trust chairman Rosemary Warren said: “The golf course is a splendid addition to the park and is a new idea for the town.
“It has been ten years since we received Heritage Lottery Fund backing and the improvements that have since taken place in the park are absolutely marvellous. The park is looking extremely good.”