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Meet a new driving force on the green
6:00am Monday 14th October 2013 in Local News
RIGHT until the last minute, it looked as if Basildon Golf Course, the town’s premier 18-hole green for almost half a century, would have to close down.
But now it is looking towards a rosy future, and most importantly stability, after close to a decade of uncertainty.
That is down to one man who, had he been a better golfer, may not have come in to the save the course at the 11th hour.
“I wasn’t that good at golf,”
Colin Jenkins, the newoperator of the club candidly admits.
“I did play professionally and in the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) European tour in 1984. I realised I wasn’t good enough to be a tournament player, so I started working in shops and got into running my own businesses.
“I’m not very good at working for people, that’show I got into running things.”
Colin has been specialising in taking failing courses and putting them on the right track for 21 years.
He said: “We haven’t failed yet.”
The clubhouse has given its backing to the 51-year-old, who lives in Kent, and he has already used his industry contacts to get a prestigious professional event lined up for Basildon next year – the PGA in England East contest.
Having professional golfers at Basildon golf course is unheard of, according to Shaun Holding, the chairman of the clubhouse.
But that is just one part of Mr Jenkins’s plan to get the course thriving again. He wouldn’t reveal toomuch, but is confident of getting the course back to its former glories.
He said: “I want to deformalise golf. I don’t want to tell people how to dress – I want them to dress how they want. If someone wants to come along to the course and play golf I guarantee they won’t leave because they’ll have so much fun doing it.”
Colin officially took over the course on October 1, after winning a contract from Basildon Council. It hopefully brings to a close eight years of legal fights, companies going under, and overall uncertainty about the course since the Tory administration privatised it in 2005.
Colin, a member of the PGA, added: “I’ve got a fantastic team here in Basildon. attention. We’re not thinking short term– we’re doing long-term fixes.”
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