UK golf club owner offering free membership in exchange for greenkeeping help

The owner of a private, nine-hole golf club in England is letting people play for free providing they pitch in with course maintenance.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 26 May 2022
UK golf club owner offering free membership in exchange for greenkeeping help

The owner of a nine-hole golf club says people can play for free providing they help maintain the course and grounds. 

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Situated in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, in the United Kingdom, Hollyville has been described as a "hidden gem". 

And all the owner Nick Cotterrill-Waring wants in return for access to the secluded course is help maintaining it. 

The course measures at 2,726 across 15-acres of land. The area faced an uncertain future with developers wanting to build housing on it. 

Cotterrill-Waring stepped in, the Saddleworth Independent reported, but his funds do not stretch to the maintenence of the course. 

He told the paper: "I never dreamed I would live somewhere like this. I still pinch myself I am here." 

The owner told the paper that he understood the need for housing but was concerned that if developed it would end up "a real eyesore". 

Some are skeptical of his plans, with one writing on the council's planning portal: "I have a suspicion that this application is not genuinely related to the "golf course", but part of a longer-term plan for wider development.

"The golf course has been neither used nor maintained for many years, and access could be more easily achieved by improving the existing gate on Tunstead Lane or any number of alternatives."

He added: "The plan now is to get it back to as good as we can. But I can't do it on my own which is why I need help from the community to help restore it to its former glory.

"In return, I am happy for people to come up and have a round on the course. Perhaps, they feel a little bit intimidated by going to a golf club.

"They can come here, bring their butties and enjoy a few hours knocking a ball about. It's great for me too because I only played golf for the first time recently."

Volunteers can be expected to help with the planting of indigenous wild flowers and plants around the borders of the golf course and ponds to encourage and sustain wildlife. 

They are also keen to put up bird/bat boxes. 

You can contact Nick on

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