Houghton Golf Club had Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg on hand to make sure everything was onside as the Durham club launched its new practice facility.
Sport England grants helped Houghton to create three covered practice bays, two golf warm-up nets and a six-hole short course which incorporates five all-weather greens and an original green.
It’s hoped the facility will encourage new players to take up the game and be home to those who want to improve with it open to local schools and wider community groups.
Clattenburg, originally from Consett and now living in Newcastle, said: “This fantastic facility will be a huge asset not only to Houghton-le-Spring but the whole local community.
“I believe it will encourage new participants to golf as well as those who wish to improve their game or return to the sport but on a shorter course.
“I am looking forward to using the facilities with my family and I would highly recommend anyone looking to get into golf comes and tries out these facilities.”
Clattenburg carried out the official opening of the new facilities and his tee shot on the first was inches away from a hole-in-one.
The launch was attended by numerous guests who had taken an active part or supported the golf club during the bidding process.
There were representatives from Tyne and Wear Sport, Active Sunderland, VCAS, local school representatives, England Golf county development officer Phil Graham, Durham County Secretary Jonathan Ward, as well as others from supporting local companies.