A GOLF course forced to closed suddenly when its operators when into administration is back in business.

Golfers returned to the fairways of Stony Holme in Carlisle for the first time in six months yesterday.

The reopening was a relief to many who had campaigned to see the sport return to the course, lobbying city councillors to take action and mounting a petition signed by 800 people.

New operator, Jim Douglas, stepped forward, after previously managing the facility for 20 years.

And he has spoken of his determination in moving the club forward.

Months of hard work and determination have seen the Stony Holme claw its way back from the brink.

Supporters of the club are now hoping former members and locals will get behind the golf course and show their backing.

While waiting for the final signatures to be added to the paperwork, the club sat ready for more than two weeks, just waiting for the signature on the dotted line.

And it is hoped that the good forecast for this weekend will encourage many to dig out their clubs and return to the course.

Golf enthusiasts and past members arrived to putt their way round the newly opened course and see how it was shaping up yesterday.

Among those taking to the fairways were Jason Nish, 33, of Carlisle.

He said “It’s lovely here. I used play here about three or four years ago, before it got flooded, but it’s getting back to normal now.

He continued: “It’s a good course and I hope more people will come along.”

The staff in the golf shop were all smiles and and were happy to see people back on the green and said: “It’s a great place here we’re friendly and inviting so it’s nice to see people back on the course.”

The sun was shining as Ryan Watson, 28, from Botcherby worked his way round the course, saying: “It’s handy for me. I only live over the road. It’s better that it’s open because it was just wasting away. It still needs a little TLC, but they have made a good effort to get it open and it’s a great weekend for it.”

The club hopes to attract more women players and Marjorie Parker,76, from Scotby, said: “It’s wonderful. I haven’t played anywhere else while it has been closed. I have been looking forward to coming back.”

Her husband, Andy, added: “It’s getting there it just need some rain, it’s great having the lace open again it’s a big asset to Carlisle.”

Both players know understand there is still work to be done but are over the moon to have their local club open again.