DAINTON Park Golf Club is 30-yrs old.

In the early 90’s Somerset farmer, David Wood, had a vision to build a golf course on arable land near Ipplepen, Newton Abbot, to make golf accessible for all.

He worked with Bristol based course architect, Adrian Stiff, to design a parkland golf course that complemented the local landscape, with views of Dartmoor and Torbay.

Initially, David had nothing more to show than some ploughed fields, a caravan for an office, and some artwork in a brochure, but in those first few months 500 members took a chance and signed up.

One founder member, Phil Wiltshire, who was then a director at local print firm, Abbot Litho, describes it. ‘We saw the road sign and walked the ‘course’ when it was being built.

‘As the turf had not yet been laid, we joked that instead of greens there were 18 ‘browns’!

‘And once it opened, we adopted the clubhouse as our company board room!’

Phil’s firm sponsored a golf competition, and to this day members compete for the Abbot Chalice every year.

Work began in 1991 with the creation of 18 greens and tees, and the addition of several lakes and 22,000 sapling trees. Finally, the clubhouse was built over the winter of 1992/93, and David delivered on his promise.

Doors opened on May 1st, 1993.

David describes the opening day: ‘We had all worked so hard, but we had no idea what to expect when we finally opened. I was a farmer; neither my wife nor I had any experience of the leisure industry.

‘We didn’t even have a cash float for the opening party night! But our founder members were very loyal, understanding, and supportive.

‘They helped us through those initial years, and several are still with us 30-years on. We feel very grateful and humble to be celebrating our 30th birthday.’

Over the years Dainton has grown into a thriving golf club; as well as the golf course, facilities now include The Oak Room Restaurant, a gym, business meeting rooms, Senseability physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and The Beauty Cabin, but it is still owned by the same family.

General Manager, Daniel Wood, is keen to stress that familiarity and a sense of inclusivity remain core principles of the club. ‘We are proud to be such an integral part of the community, and to see the same faces year after year. Several of our staff have been at Dainton for 20+ years, their children have grown up here! Together with the members, they make Dainton what it is.’

Anniversary celebrations culminate in a music festival on the golf driving range on Saturday, April 29.

The evening’s entertainment starts at 5pm with local duo ‘Mafia Babes’, followed by soul and funk music from ‘Superstition’, rock & roll classics from Jon Clare & the Fabulous Dough Boys, and finally the UK’s biggest Queen tribute band ‘Majesty’. There will be a fully licensed bar and a selection of food.

► Tickets are available from the golf club