Above: Upminster’s Hall Lane Miniature Golf Course
I must have been 9 years old when I first played a golf shot. I went to Upminster’s Hall Lane Miniature Golf Course with my father and a couple of my brothers and hacked my way around the place – my dad trying to give out golfing advice at the same time as making sure we didn’t kill each other or other golfers enjoying the course.
From that moment I have been hooked on golf and sport – so much that I have worked for Golf Monthly magazine for the past decade and been able to take my lack of golfing ability all around the world – even being fortunate enough to play Augusta National last year.
I was then upset to see the news on Tuesday that the very same golf course at Hall Lane looks set to have some 48 homes built on its once luscious fairways.
I had known that the once superb course had fallen into disrepair ever since the Council sold it off at the end of the 1990s – and it appears with no appetite from the council to keep this course running they are looking to make a quick buck instead.
Unfortunately this is not the only example of the community losing a once popular sport facility. There used to be several fantastic pitch and putt courses in the area including at Haynes Park and Harold Wood Park, all now long gone with easy to manage nature areas now in their place.
I am aware of the need for housing in the area, but we cannot forget the role our green spaces play in influencing the younger generations and creating life-long happy memories – like the ones I have – they can inspire people more than we can ever realise.
This post was written by Tom Clarke, Membership Development Officer and Press Officer for the Havering Liberal Democrats