HOYLAKE'S municipal golf course has been earmarked as the site for the new Jack Nicklaus private golf resort.

Wirral Council says a replacement public course will be built alongside the new deluxe facility and that local golfers are "very much at the centre" of their plans.

Nicklaus's own world-leading company would design the new municipal links - making it unique among council-owned courses.

The legendary golfer was announced earlier this month as the council's preferred developer for the multi-million pound resort scheme.

The initiative will bring an 18-hole championship course - designed by Nicklaus -  a luxury five-star Marriott hotel, including health and spa facilities, a clubhouse and a "Links Academy."

Clubs affiliated to the Hoylake course were updated on the proposed new resort by Wirral’s director of regeneration yesterday.

Kevin Adderley said although the council-owned site was earmarked for the private development, a new municipal course would be built next to the site.

He also promised there would be no break in service for municipal users; a staggered building and design schedule will ensure that there is always 18 holes to play as the transition is made to the new site.

And he announced that, if approved, the new municipal course would be designed by Nicklaus Design, the global golf course firm founded by golf legend Nicklaus, who is preferred developer for the new resort.

Mr Adderley said: ‘The briefing yesterday gave us the chance to reassure golfers who use Hoylake municipal on a regular basis that they are very much at the centre of the planning process, and will still have somewhere to play 18 holes, even when work is at its peak."

Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said: ‘Hoylake golf resort promises to bring new jobs, prosperity and tourists to Wirral, boosting our economy and visitor numbers.

‘As far as we are aware, if approved, this will be the only municipal course designed by Nicklaus Design, who are widely regarded as one of the world’s leading designers of golf courses – that is quite something for a council golf course."

Detailed plans will go before council’s planners at a date yet to be fixed.