Former World No.1 Lee Westwood grew up in Nottinghamshire and now plays his golf further north. By Lucy Bamford
What Is Lee Westwood’s Home Club?
Lee Westwood, from the age of 13, was ‘bitten with the bug to hit just one good shot’ after discovering the game at first club Kilton Forest in Nottinghamshire.
He recalls carving ‘plenty of divots’ on the parkland course after his grandparents gifted him half a set of clubs.
Kilton Forest demanded fairway accuracy due to the tree-lined fairways.
As a result, Westwood’s handicap plummeted into the low 20’s, pushing him to take lessons as encouraged by dad, John.
Worksop Golf Club
Transitioning to play at Worksop Golf Club, Westwood entered and won the Nottingham County Boys Under 18 competition at 14.
After discussion over Westwood’s 5 handicap at the time, Worksop insisted a cut would come when his game was ready.
Worksop’s gorse-lined fairways taught Westwood the value of the fairway, whilst the rock hard greens educated him on the importance of disciplined ball-striking.
The Englishman’s successful ‘golfing future and abundance of happy memories were decided and enjoyed there [Worksop]’ where, during the Sunday Fiddle, he shot a hole-in-one on the 8th and on another week, a hole-in-one on the 3rd.
Consequently, Westwood’s confidence stems from his support at Worksop and his enjoyment playing as a junior.
The quality and difficulty of the course means it is regarded as one of the most outstanding courses in its area.
The foundations of Westwood’s career perhaps were laid due to the contribution of the Worksop’s reputation.
Writing for the Top 100 Courses of the British Isles, Westwood’s ‘golfing heart’ remains loyal to Worksop, where his junior roots have championed his the love of the game.
Close House – where Westwood is now based:
Based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Close House dates back 250 years and has been Westwood’s golfing home for the past decade.
The Lee Westwood Colt Course was opened on the 10th May 2011, whilst Westwood was the World’s No.1 Golfer, consequently prompting a close association between Westwood and Close House.
Now their Attached Touring Professional, Westwood has aided improvements of the Scott Macpherson-designed Filly and Colt Courses.
Moreover, the contribution of Westwood’s experience means the addition of new tees and bunkers has resulted in challenging courses for all abilities.
Frequently at the club, Westwood can make use of the PGA Academy to sharpen his game.
Furthermore, he has recently partaken in this year’s Members Pairs Knockout and Club Championship.
The Design of the course is inspired by legendary golf architect Harry Colt.
Colt has designed courses such as: St Georges Hill, Wentworth and Sunningdale.
Whilst it does not copy Colt’s work directly, the par 3 diversity, bunker forms and rectangular trees are distinct features that emulate the contrived themes of the architect.
The Lee Westwood Filly Course
The 6000 yard Filly course stretches along the River Tyne Valley, boasting stunning views for players to enjoy.
The parkland-layout course was re-opened in 2007 after being redesigned.
Hosting the British Masters
Close House is due to host the British Masters for the second time at the end of July, early August in 2020, which Westwood will be hosting once again.
The first time Close House organised the British Masters in 2017, the club benefitted from an international audience – rarely given the opportunity to hone their attention on the North East’s charm.
Close House intends to build upon their legacy in the upcoming British Masters, showcasing the club Westwood now calls home.