AN EXPERIENCED greenkeeper has been appointed to the Slaley Hall team as the new course manager of its award-winning golf resort.

Neil Smith (44) will bring a wealth of experience to his new role, having previously spent 14 years on the greenkeeping staff at the Belfry Hotel and Resort in Wishaw, and the last six years as golf course and estates manager at Oulton Hall near Leeds.

Managed by RBH, Slaley Hall was voted ‘best golf hotel/resort in the north of England’ for the fourth successive year in the 2018 Today’s Golfer Travel Awards.

Slaley Hall head of golf, Jonny Mould, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Neil to the team; he brings invaluable experience with him, gained from his time at the Belfry and our group’s Oulton Hall.

“Neil will be responsible for anything and everything that happens on a 36-hole golf course, from drainage and bunker construction to grass maintenance.”

Neil, who will lead a team of nine greenkeepers, said: “I’m thrilled to join Slaley Hall as its new course manager and am looking forward to working closely with Jonny and the team as we put our ambitious plans to work.

“We have two stunning championship courses with unrivalled views to maintain – I’m very excited for the changes and challenge ahead.”

The hotel has two challenging championship courses – the Hunting and the Priestman – which have played host to 18 European Tour and European Senior Tour events.

The 7,000-yard, par-72 Hunting, designed by Dave Thomas, has well-placed bunkers and tricky greens, making it a United States Golf Association standard course.