HIGH Legh Golf Club’s new general manager has had a history in golf before moving to the role, but it could have been completely different it is wasn’t for a freak incident that stopped him from playing football.

Stuart Buckley, who has been in the role for four weeks, grew up playing football for Burnley Belvedere, a feeder team for Burnley FC and they trained with the academy.

When in the under 13s, Stuart got run over and fractured his hip.

“As part of rehab, the surgeon said to try and get some rotation and get that movement back,” Stuart, 31, said.

“They said to try some golf and the rest is history.”

And time working as a manager at Morecambe Golf Club and Oulton Hall Golf Club, he has headed to High Legh to make it a welcoming place for not just golf, but for a multitude of purposes.

Stuart said: “It’s providing somewhere where anyone can come through the door, have a good experience, engage with the local community.

“One key plan is schools to come in so we can be a real hub for the community. Also if you just want to come down with friends and family for something to drink or eat, we are here – we can provide that.

“You’ve got so many different facilities, you can have some fun on the driving range and come for something to eat after. At some golf clubs or private member clubs, you can’t really do that or you’ll walk in and people will be like ‘what are you doing here?’

“There is none of that here, it is golf for everyone and facilities for everyone.”

High Legh Golf Club with the clubhouse in the background

High Legh Golf Club with the clubhouse in the background

Stuart wanted to take on the role to bring the community and families together.

“I wanted to take on the role because of the size of the site, there is a good array of facilities and one thing I want to engage with is families,” he added.

“Here we can cater for families and there is no stigma as anyone can come through the door. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing you can just come here.

“Also the potential here with what American Golf are doing with their investment, it is just really appealing.”

“The biggest change is in the clubhouse. The function suite upstairs is having a complete refurbishment. We want to provide a space there where we can cater for any event up to 150 people so that’s one big change here.”

The former Myerscough College student – who has progressed through the ranks in golf clubs – has also seen new mats and tracing systems on the driving range too.

Stuart, who is based in Lancaster, continued: “It’s been very busy, lots going on, lots of improvements so it’s really good.

“Pretty much everywhere has seen changes which is another appeal.

“Moving forward we want to utilise the site to its best and give everyone the best experience.”