GARY Wolstenholme MBE is regarded as one of the world's leading amateur golfers.

He has won more Walker Cup points than anybody else and made more England appearances than any other player in a 30-year career.

He has met American presidents, Royalty and has won tournaments on all five continents - included three European Senior Tour events.

But what is happening on his own doorstep has got him really excited.

The 54-year-old recently launched the Gary Wolstenholme Golf Academy at Carus Green - a move he firmly believes will put Cumbrian on the golfing map.

And it's also an opportunity to put something back in to the sport and a chance to possibly unearth the next Gary Wolstenholme.

"I wouldn't put my name to something if I wasn't fully supportive but this is great chance to turn the club in to a centre of excellence," said Wolstenholme who has played in the US Open, US Masters and the Open.

"This is a wonderful part of the world and what is happening at Carus Green is very exciting."

London-born Wolstenholme is an adopted Cumbrian, moving to the area as a four-year-old. While he went on to live around the country, he has now returned home.

And he could not be any closer to his base.

"I live at the club," said Wolstenholme. "So I know from first hand experience just what it has to offer."

Wolstenholme has fully bought in to what proprietor Graham Curtin who, along with business partner Maurice Cotter, have done since taking over the club.

And the Academy underlines how far the club has come since they took charge eight years ago.

"Graham and Maurice are passionate and very committed to what they have done here," he said, "I would say we now have the best golf club facilities in the north of England."

The Academy boasts teaching studios, a golf simulator, an indoor putting chipping suite and an 18 bay floodlit golf driving range with automated tees.

And Wolstenholme and five PGA Professionals will be on hand to pass on their expert tuition.

While Wolstenholme is more likely to concentrate on the more experienced players he is more than happy to pass on his knowledge and experience to anyone wishing to take up the game.

"I started reasonably late so I know what can be achieved, even if you haven't picked up a club before," he said.

Wolstenholme was 18-years-old when he joined Silverdale Golf Club, five years later he was playing off scratch and two years after that he was playing for England.

"This is my chance to put something back in to the game," he added. "I know I am not going to be on the tour forever so this is an area I am really looking forward to working in.

"I would love to help a younger golfer on to bigger and better things, maybe experience some of things I have done. But the beauty of the Academy is that is it an opportunity for any golf lover to get some expert tuition."

For more details about the Gary Wolstenholme Golf Academy, contact Lee on 01539 721097 or email