BACK home is the destination for the new secretary of Pike Hills Golf Club as it pioneers a new initiative.

Alistair Burns is to take over the position of secretary at the club from June 1 to replace the retiring David Winterburn.

For Burns it is a case of returning to his drive and putt roots.

He started his golfing career 22 years ago at Pike Hills, where he was assistant professional to the then club head pro Ian Gradwell.

After that initial grounding in the sport, Burns then enjoyed teaching spells at to clubs in Germany.

For the last 13 years, Burns has worked for Golf Direct, his extensive area ranging from London to the St Andrews home of the game in Scotland.

And there could soon be a chip- off the Burns block.

The eldest of his three daughters is showing promise as a player and could well go on to match her dad's progression.

New man Burns has arrived at the club just as it has unveiled a new, eye-catching educational link-up.

In tandem with the nearby Askham Bryan College, Pike Hills have have formed a unique link enabling college students to take a course on sports management directly connected to golf.

As they take part in the course, students will be enrolled as club members. They will then hone in on how a modern-day club is run as well as discovering how the club maintains its course.

Pike Hills has a unique position among York's myriads of courses as it borders the Askham Bog nature reserve.

The combination of agriculture and sport offers a new concept in the task of Askham Bryan College students hoping to leave with a level three extended Diploma in Sports Development Coaching and fitness (golf studies) and a new level two Diploma Sport (golf studies).

It is hoped that the college will enrol up to enrol up to 20 students in the next few months with both the college and the golf club benefitting from the new venture.

Meanwhile, though Winterburn is leaving the xxx0-based club, he will be just as actively involved in sport, but he will be trading golf shoes for football boots.

Winterburn, the current secretary of the City of York Girls' Football League, is involved with the North Yorkshire girls' FA Centre of Excellence, housed at York College.

He is also to take up a role in the administration and development of York girls' football from under-sevens though to U12s.

And like his successor at Pike Hills, Winterburn has a daughter who is excelling on the thrilling fields.

Helen Winterburn is soon to start her fourth and final year on a soccer scholarship at Limestone College, in the state of South Carolina.