Members to launch farm diversification project in August
Mid-Tyrone Ulster Farmers’ Union members Matthew and Nuala Robinson, are now just weeks away from opening their farm diversification project - Blackfort Driving Range.
Matthew could see the potential appetite for a driving range in the local area and after a conversation with Paddy McDonagh from Omagh Golf Club, Matthew was encouraged to proceed with his idea.
The family farm is situated in an ideal location just one mile from Omagh town centre, and less than a mile from the golf club. On the farm there was five acres of low lying, wet ground, which was not suitable for growing crops and Matthew knew that by creating a driving range, they would be able to make better use of the land.
However, the ground needed some attention and thanks to the support of both family and friends, Matthew and Nuala were able to transform the site, achieving perfect conditions for a driving range. It is 250 yards in length and was sown with amenity grass in May 2020.
With the busy family farm, other work commitments, maintaining the grass and collecting the balls, there isn’t much spare time to man the driving range which will be open seven days a week from early in the morning to late in the day. This is why the Robinsons have invested in a fully automated system, where upon payment, a machine will allow access and release a special range of golf balls. With 20,000 balls ready to go, they are hoping there will be enough for everyone!
After first meeting with their architect in March 2017, it has been a long journey that has not been without delays, but Matthew and Nuala are excited to be opening in August 2021 and can’t wait to welcome people of all golfing capabilities from near and far. The couple have further plans in the pipeline for Blackfort Driving Range once it is up and running so watch this space!
The Mid-Tyrone group chairman Ian Clyde would like to wish Matthew and Nuala all the best in their new venture and encourage members and locals to support them.