• Burray's Orkney-themed course is most northerly in Britain
• Every local pupil has received a putter and golf ball
ORKNEY ISLANDS | GOLF
The spirit of an Orkney community has been hailed after they helped to raise £8,500 towards the building of a park, which will contain Britain’s most northerly crazy golf course.
The people on the isle of Burray, which has approximately 400 inhabitants, rallied together to raise the total in less than a year after a questionnaire was handed out among residents to decide what they wanted built there.
They decided on a crazy golf course, but not your traditional ‘Blackpool-style’ one with windmills and all. An Orkney theme was chosen and local schoolchildren were invited to send in their designs for each of the 12 holes, which incorporates landmarks from the Islands including Old Man of Hoy, Skara Brae and Scapa Flow.
What’s more, every child at the local school has been presented with a putter and ball ahead of the park’s grand opening this weekend, and secretary of Burray Community Association Pam Woodcock hopes this will encourage children and families to stay active and use the facility regularly.
“This couldn’t have happened without a good, cohesive community,” she said. “I think because everybody had the opportunity to input into what went into the park, the feeling of ownership was very strong from the beginning.
“It needed to be aesthetically nice and pleasing, there needed to be something for everybody to do, it needed to be robust because of the natural weather conditions and we wanted it to be suitable from ‘pushchair to pensioner’ and we think with the park, and the golf course, we’ve done that.
“Above all, we wanted to the park to be a free point of access so we took the decision to present all the local schoolchildren with the equipment they need, so hopefully they will use the facility regularly and encourage them to play golf and, more importantly, stay active.”
In order to make the golf course as much like the Orkney landmarks as possible and to protect it from the adverse weather the Islands frequently face, the course has been made from stone by local architect Paul Green, while the surface has meant that low-impact balls must be used as well.
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“I’m delighted to hear about this new development in Orkney – not least because it’s where I grew up. I spent the vast majority of every summer holiday between 1990 and 1996 at the public putting green at Brandyquoy Park, just off Palace Road in Kirkwall. That was my introduction to golf.
Regrettably, I believe it was transformed into a bowling green some years ago – despite a bowling green already being, quite literally, the other side of the wall – so it is great to hear the Burray community taking the lead with a new crazy golf course. I hope it’s more than a ‘peedie’ bit successful!” Michael McEwan • Assistant Editor, bunkered
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