THE head professional at the The Ageas Bowl’s new golf course plans to develop it into a tournament venue.

Boundary Lakes was officially opened yesterday, with Hampshire Cricket secretary Tim Tremlett hitting its first tee shot as the inaugural club captain.

Golf operations manager/head pro Shaun Hall has big ambitions for the 18-hole, par-69 course.

He said: “I’ve already got my eyes on the Jamega Tour or the EuroPro Tour and have met one of the directors of the Ladies’ European Tour.

“As a venue, we’ve got the whole set up, and that stands out to the tours. It would be interesting to see what their criteria is.

“We’re one of the shorter golf courses but I don’t think length would be an issue. We have three or four long championship tees that for your plus golfers will find very difficult.

“There aren’t many with as many hazards. There are lakes, bunkers, streams and very large, undulating greens which make it very interesting and a lot of fun.

“The second hole is 120 yards, which most people would say is not hard, but the fact you have to carry it over water to a semi-island green makes it a difficult challenge.”

Hall, who was one of the first junior members of the Ageas Bowl’s original nine-hole course a decade ago, attended nearby Wildern School and has an inclusive vision for Boundary Lakes.

“We want to build the ladies and junior sections and make golf a bit more fun as well as keeping 350-400 members happy on a daily basis,” he continued.

“A main goal for our junior section is to get a sponsor to back it and we’ll also have a pricing strategy that encourages more golfers in our quiet periods.

“One thing we’ll start with is a twilight rate from 5pm to encourage more golfers to play evening golf.”

With a designated practice era, buggies with Visage GPS to measure yardage, an American Golf shop and a soon-to-be-built clubhouse, Boundary Lakes has plenty going for it.

For Ageas Bowl chief executive David Mann it is “the final piece” in the business model conceived by chairman Rod Bransgrove 12 years ago.

“It’s a really exciting day for us, a landmark moment,” he said. “It helps fill in a lot of gaps with other elements of the business as well as being a revenue generator.

“It opens up the venue to a whole new audience.

“A key focus of our strategy is the layering of different businesses around the cricket. Now the golf course is finished and the hotel has matured we’re beginning to see the benefits.”

Next on Ageas Bowl plc's agenda is improving access and car parking.

“We’re going to develop another 200-300 spaces in an existing car park over the winter,” explained Mann. “Longer term, the plan is to have another 1,500 spaces on land we’ve just acquired (Thorneydown Farm by Charles Watts Way).

"We’re also looking at a new access road adjacent to junction seven to avoid the need for traffic through Botley, Hedge End and West End.”