There’s quite a bit going on in Douglas Golf Club at the moment, from new members to course developments, and changes to personnel it’s a busy place. The Pro Shop run by club professional Stephen Hayes is also a busy spot with a new member of staff and a new teaching facility now up and running. Stephen, who has been the Club Professional in Douglas since 2010 had a fitting bay at the range for several years until the extreme weather got the better of it. “Unfortunately the old bay got blown down in Storm Ophelia in late 2017” explained Stephen. “I had built this teaching bay with my brother in law and Dad when I was Club Professional in Kilkea Castle in 2009. We had it loaded onto lorry in 2010 and transported to Douglas when I took up position so it’s fair to say it served me well for nine years. The new teaching/fitting bay is addition to the indoor bay. The new bay has Flightscope launch monitor, full length mirrors for both left and right hand golfers both face on and behind to help with setup. We have a full Ping and Taylormade fitting cart, and we also have an artificial putting surface on the back of the bay. It is a multi-purpose room that can be used for both Short and Long Game Lessons and Custom Fitting Sessions. It is ideal for anyone who would like to see ball flight when getting a lesson or custom fitting.” With the recent upgrades to the range tees and targets now complete, the fitting room adds another dimension for members. This of course is the second dedicated teaching and fitting facility in Douglas, around twelve months ago Stephen opened an indoor swing studio next to his pro shop.
“The indoor studio has worked out very well, and has had plenty of use” said Hayes. “It works using a Skytrak Launch Monitor which has worked very well for us. We also have a SAM Puttlab which we use for our Putting Lessons and Putter Fittings. The room has been used for lessons, custom fittings, golf ball fittings and for bag mapping (checking how far you hit each club in your bag). It has also been used for Members to Practice when the weather has been poor, and for nearest the pin competitions for members competitions and Golf Classics. It is a great multi-purpose room which provides a nice warm dry environment in which members can improve their game.” With the both the range fitting bay and the indoor studio, Stephen has an ideal set up for members and clients. He also has a great team with Davey Barry who completed his PGA training last year, and Shane Livesey who recently started his PGA training. “There are three of us now in the shop” added Stephen. “The Golf Club has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and has a very busy playing membership. I feel it is very important that as a Head PGA Professional that we provide a first-class service to members and visitors in the Pro Shop. It’s a real team effort and with Davey and Shane on board I really feel we have a great team which can deliver a top-class service to members and visitors in Douglas Golf Club.”
With a full membership, another group of new joiners and a thriving junior section, Douglas is buzzing with activity. The club will open their new six-hole short game area soon with new chipping and pitching greens set to open around the same time. “The short game areas are coming along nicely and will provide a great addition to the already superb facilities. Hopefully all going to plan they will be open on 1st May. These areas will be great in helping to improve members short games and will be great for young golfers just starting out in the game to help develop their skills. We would hope to use the facilities in our lessons also. It will be great to carry out our lessons in the same conditions as you will find on the golf course. Our plan will also be to hold some short game evenings, short game schools over the summer months.”