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BASILDON Golf Club is set to undergo a big money revamp, after a decade of uncertainty.

Boss Colin Jenkins, 51, will make a series of improvements to the course, in Clay Hill Lane, six months after taking the helm.

Improvements include extending the clubhouse and building a netted driving range.

Mr Jenkins, who competed at a professional level in the Eighties, said he can’t wait for his first summer in charge of the course.

He said: “This is a communityorientated golf course.

“It’s a high-quality course, with a keen interest in the local community and the social side.

“The support so far has been fantastic. We’ve had a difficult winter because of the weather, but it’s getting better every day.

“We’re committed to making sure people have a great time.

Golf clubs don’t have to be snobby – it’s a sport, not a religion.”

Mr Jenkins, who lives in Kent, but spends four days a week at the course, is also planning to build a large outdoor decking area, with a bridge over the lake.

He and eight groundkeepers maintain the course, which was neglected, while the four members of the catering team serve food and drink.

Mr Jenkins stepped in to save the course at the last minute, when it was looking like Basildon Council would close it after a failed search to find a new operator.

He insists he is committed to the club, after signing a 75-year lease.

Despite it being green belt land, Basildon Council deemed there were exceptional circumstances to allow the clubhouse extension and new driving range.

Lisa Pearce, planning officer, said: “The proposal will improve the facilities.

“The extension will respect the design and scale of the existing clubhouse and the external alterations proposed would improve the overall visual appearance.

“The proposed driving range will improve the facilities at the course and will not have a detrimental impact on the visual appearance or residential amenities of this area.”