kkdowning Darren Clarke is the new global ambassador and attached professional at The Astbury – home of the first golf course designed by KK Downing, founding member of British heavy metal band Judas Priest.

Clarke, the 2011 Open champion, has agreed a three-year deal at the unique and modern non-members’ facility, which is located in the heart of the Severn Valley, Shropshire.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to be involved in the transformation of The Astbury into one of the great inland courses and all the other development aspirations they have,” said the Northern Irishman, winner of more than 20 titles worldwide.

Clarke, who will wear The Astbury’s logo on his left sleeve and attend selected events at the venue, added: “It is only going to get better and better with Kenny’s eye for detail.”

Downing, a lifelong golf fan, designed the championship layout having played some of the world’s finest courses while touring with Judas Priest, who have sold more than 40 million records globally.

“I usually let my guitar do the talking but the agreement with Darren, one of the world’s most recognisable golfers, is crucial in helping The Astbury become the international destination it deserves to be,” said West Bromwich-born Downing, who became one of the leading guitarists in the world after being mesmerised by the legendary sounds of Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Eric Clapton as a teenager.

“I have been totally engrossed by the project ever since I put down my plectrum and picked up a pitch mark repairer. I am determined to create the biggest, best and most futuristic spa in Britain. We are also hoping to build a Darren Clarke village along with holiday homes on the premises. It is a very exciting time in my life.”

The par-71 course was opened in 2010 and measures more than 6,500 yards. It has hosted several professional tournaments, including a PGA EUROPRO tour event which was featured on Sky Sports and will take place again in 2014.


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  • DR on

    KK Downing = Cool Dude
    Darren Clarke = Major Champion / Cool Dude
    In Summary – Real Cool Dude Golf Course

  • Scott on

    What is this game “golf” of which you speak?

    • Roland on

      Ask Alice Cooper.

  • Todd on

    I don’t blame KK or Sambora, who spend like 30 years on busses and in hotel rooms and finally decide that as much as they love their fans, it’s their life and time is precious!, They need some “Normal life time”. Sometimes taking a break can help regain your creativity and love for playing music.

  • Lee on

    Gene & Paul should be the caddies.

  • George Martin on

    Golf and Metal – The perfect combination!

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