A band of Wirral golfers working in the professional game say they owe their successful careers to the peninsula’s courses that were recently under threat of closure.
Arrowe Park, Brackenwood and The Warren were all at risk as Wirral Council looked to address a £16.5m budget deficit.
If the cuts had gone ahead, the borough would have been left with just one public golf course, Hoylake municipal.
The council must continue running this course to ensure the Royal Liverpool Golf Club can host the 2023 Open Championship.
The popular courses have been a stepping stone into the world of golf for Wirral youngsters.
Many of these have gone onto have successful careers within the golf industry.
TaylorMade Global Tour’s Director, Chris Trott, is now based in California and found his love for the sport after starting as a junior member at Arrowe Park.
The 39-year-old, originally from Ness, said he wouldn’t be where his is today had it not been for the accessibility to the Wirral’s public courses when he was growing up.
He said: “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. I am stood here as a kid from the Wirral looking out over Pebble Beach.
“My life wouldn’t be what it is without that venue and without that golf scene.
“I can remember the first round of golf I played there when I was seven years old with my dad.”
Mr Trott is one of many golfers who have gone on to work within the golf industry after honing their handicap at Arrowe Park and Brackenwood.
Alex Murray, former lead instructor at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, is now a PGA Golf Instructor in San Francisco. He was a junior member at Brackenwood before moving onto Arrowe Park.
The 45-year-old from Tranmere played in the same tournaments as his father, who was also a junior member before him at Brackenwood.
Mr Murray said: “We were hanging out with kids from other schools, some of those people I’ve kept in touch with all my life. That basically gave me a love for golf.”
A teammate of Mr Murray, Nick Pugh, is now a caddy on the European and Asian Tours.
He cut his teeth as a junior member at Arrowe Park before later becoming assistant pro at Heswall Golf Club.
“I would never have got into golf if it hadn’t been for those courses.”
The Wirral has a thriving golfing community said the 45-year-old from Prenton, who knows how important these clubs are for the future of the sport in the area.
Both Mr Murray and Mr Pugh played alongside Ian Keenan at Arrowe Park. Mr Keenan is now a player manager at the Wasserman Group on the PGA and European Tour.
The 44-year-old from Prenton, said: “This all started for us at Arrowe Park. If you take Arrowe Park away from that equation, these stories don’t happen. We probably wouldn’t be earning a living in the sport if it wasn’t for that beginning.”
The courses are now safe from closure, after Wirral Council spared the courses from closing in the 2021/22 budget.