A £40,000 investment has transformed a golf club which will now hold the Cumbrian championships for the first time in its 105-year history.

Maryport Golf Club has brought in expert consultants to upgrade the green.

New equipment has replaced old, out-of-date items and greens staff have been issued with professional looking uniforms as well as being given advice on how to keep the green in prime condition.

Tim Kemp, the new vice-captain, said: “It is because of this work that we have been given the chance to host the prestigious Cumbria County Championship.

“It is a huge deal for the club.”

Directors, staff, members and volunteers have been preparing for the opening of the club on Saturday.

“We have all the Government guidances in place and are ready to go,” Mr Kemp said.

But members will be returning to a new club which has had more than a physical overhaul.

“Many of the old board of directors have stood down and have been replaced by younger members,” he explained.

“We have at least 30 new members, many of them young.”

He said the pandemic may have helped attract members: “We have seen more people walking on the Maryport prom. At the end of that prom is our course with its beautiful views.”

There have even been changes to the way the game is played.

“It used to be that people would turn up and tee off. Now we get them to book a spot online,” said Mr Kemp. “Some found that difficult at first but we have talked them through it. For those with no access to the internet we text or write or phone.”

He added: “Club captain Chris Burford and I are both keen golfers. When I was approached to become involved in the administration side I decided I wanted to do it.

“I run a business in the town. Several members of the golf club are my customers. They have been loyal to me and wanted to give something back.”

The new directors include president Sue Burford, Chris’ mother, Wendy Wright, Stephen Oglanby and Paul Langford.

The club’s restaurant is closed for the duration and directors will be looking for someone to take it over once restrictions are lifted. In the meantime snacks will be served at the bar.

Mr Kemp said: “There is a fantastic atmosphere at the club now. It is all so positive and we are looking forward to brining in new members.”

The directors have paid tribute to the many volunteers and staff who have helped to transform the club in time for the county championships. These are due to take place this month.

“We are all up and ready to go,” he said.