Hampshire's premier driving range
Winchester Golf Academy is a purpose-built golf practice facility on the outskirts of Winchester. Our aim is to provide members and guests with a unique golfing experience. We pride ourselves on our high standards of service, expertise, and the quality of our facilities.
Golf lessons and practice
We offer individual and group lessons with our PGA qualified golf professionals, as well as facillities for solo practice. We are particularly keen to encourage ladies and youngsters to take up the game, and hold regular open days, holiday camps and taster sessions.
We provide the same high standards of service to novice golfers and experienced players alike. Our friendly welcome and the value for money we provide will keep you coming back for more.
Our facilities include a 28-bay driving range, a pitching and putting practice area, a club-fitting bay, equipment shop and bistro.
Winchester Golf Academy is a family-run business, a collaboration between Simon and Katie Browne, who own and farm the land on which Winchester Golf Academy is situated, and Gary and Emma Booth, who bring the golfing expertise.
Also involved in the project are Simon and Katie's three sons: George - who helps with the website and marketing, Jim, who looks after the day-to-day management of the facility, and Charlie who used his skills as a chartered surveyor and keen golfer to advise on the design of the facility. The youngest Browne, Holly, is currently studying at Exeter University, but works in the Bistro in the holidays!
We have begun this enterprise to fill a gap in the market for an excellent golf practice and learning facility in the Winchester area.
Given the family-orientated nature of our business, one of our key philosphies is of inclusivity. We believe that golf can be fun for everyone, not just middle-aged men. We will be working hard to encourage youngsters, ladies and OAPs to take up the game.
We focus on creating a fun, friendly and welcoming atmosphere in which people can enjoy improving their golf.
The story so far
As with many stories, knowing where to begin is rather tricky. The Browne family have farmed the land known as Down Farm for several generations. Simon took over the farm in 1980.
Farming is an unpredicable business, and being an entrepeneurial sort of chap Simon was soon looking for ways to diversify the farm's revenue streams. One of the earliest projects was the construction of the equestrian hunter-trial course which eventually became Three Maids Chasers, and was our first foray into the leisure industry. Down Farm is also home to one of the UK's best moto-cross tracks, Route 34 MotoPark.
Simon and his wife Katie are both keen golfers, and one idea that they looked into in the 1990s was the construction of a golf course. For a number of reasons this idea never came to fruition, but the desire to move into the golf business never went away.
Fast forward to 2010. Katie was trying to improve her game and booked herself a lesson with a golf pro named Emma McBride. The details of what exactly happened at this first meeting are hard to come by, but the two ladies obviously hit it off. Before long they were going on early-morning runs and sharing evening drinks. Simon had a lesson with Emma's fiancé Gary Booth (now her husband)
As the friendship developed Simon and Katie learned of Gary and Emma's ambition to open a golf academy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Winchester Golf Academy has family at its heart. Not only is it a collaboration between Simon, Katie, Gary and Emma, but the Brownes' grown-up kids are also involved in the project in various ways.
This informs the way we think about the services and facilities which we provide, which are all designed to be as inclusive as possible. Gary and Emma are passionate about increasing participation in the game that they have dedicated their working lives to, and are keen for everyone from the tiny tots to Granny to learn and improve their golf.
To this end we run regular group lessons specifically for ladies, seniors, beginners and improvers, at very reasonable rates. We also run several kids groups, and have programmed lessons for parents which run concurrently with the kids' classes.
We have also put a great deal of thought into our Bistro, which will make the perfect place for the non-golfer to relax with a coffee, beer or a glass of wine while watching the golfers, as well as a great place for the whole family to enjoy a meal.
It is vitally important to us that Winchester Golf Academy is a warm and friendly place to learn and practice, and we look forward to welcoming you and your family to our fantastic facility.