Maybe it’s middle age but I seem to be getting into golf. In fairness, my interest has been stirred because it’s a game that can be played with older kids – something to do that is relatively inexpensive and passes a few hours.
If I’m lucky it might lead to a luxurious weekend away with the lads in some sun-soaked Spanish resort. For now I’m content to make do with the less exclusive offerings closer to home.
Having played a round of three par golf at Heaton Park Pitch and Putt in Manchester and visited Adventure Golf at Haigh Hall, we were keen to perfect our swing.
We’d previously tried the two storey Trafford Centre driving range and wanted to try something a bit more down to earth: The Boomers and Swingers Driving Range at Astley near Leigh, Greater Manchester, was it.
Open since 2016, there’s a real family welcome at Boomers and Swingers, which has some very attractive pricing. It’s only £8 per adult, with free club hire and unlimited balls, £2 for the first accompanying child, and £5 for each subsequent child.
There are more than a dozen bays and a host of interesting challenges, including three old washing machines, a beaten up filing cabinet, truck tyres and a skip.
It’s harder than you think to whack the ball a long way and even more difficult to hit it with precision. However, my boy James somehow managed to get a ball into each of the three washing machines.
I appeared to develop some wonky internal feedback loop. I hit the ball, hard as I could, thinking I was hitting it to a visualised target on the right, and it flew to the left. I switched my stance and corrected my aim to the left, and it flew to the right.
You also have to be careful. My friend somehow managed to hit himself on the head with a ball, while I somehow whacked one into the basket of the person in the next bay.
We had a great time though – a fun way to spend an hour.
For more details go to the Astley Golf Club Boomers and Swingers website.