Olympic champion Justin Rose, Masters champion Danny Willett and Charley Hull were honoured at the 2017 England Golf Awards, alongside other players and heroes from the grass roots game. Over 400 guests and celebrities attended the ceremony at Lord’s, which celebrated all that’s great about golf in England.
“This is our chance to applaud the fantastic achievements of our players, volunteers, clubs and counties,” said England Golf Chief Executive, Nick Pink. “They are a true inspiration to people to take up and play golf and share the pleasures of this great game.”
Justin Rose, an England Golf ambassador, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for a career which also includes US Open and Ryder Cup triumphs. In a specially recorded message he told the audience why he helps to grow the game by promoting the next generation of golfers.
“I received so much help from England Golf through coaching programmes, representing my country and travelling all over the world to play for England. That type of experience was unbelievable at the time and stood me in good stead for my professional career.” Danny Willett was named Player of the Year for his superb 2016 and, in particular, his Masters victory, which he defends next month.
Bronte Law of Cheshire took the women’s Player of the Year award after a final season of amateur golf when she was ranked world number two, was the top women’s US college player, the European amateur champion and a key player in England’s European team championship win and GB&I’s Curtis Cup victory.
Charley Hull’s rapid rise to the top was recognised with the Spotlight Award. The audience was reminded how, after winning her first national title at the age of nine, she become England’s top woman amateur at 15, the LET rookie of the year, the youngest-ever Solheim Cup player, the youngest winner of the LET Order of Merit and, most recently, an LPGA winner.
The Team of the Year was the England side which won the European women’s team championship for the first time in 23 years: Emma Allen, Alice Hewson, Bronte Law, Meghan MacLaren, Lizzie Prior and Olivia Winning, coached by Steve Robinson and captained by Anne Baines.
Stars of the grassroots game were highlighted for their tremendous work to encourage new players and to support clubs.
The Lifetime Service Award, sponsored by Your Golf Travel, was won by Jenny Hobbs of Bath Golf Club, Somerset, who has shared her love of the game for over half a century by supporting her club, county, regional and national organisations.
The Volunteer of the Year is Jenny Davies of Bondhay Golf Club, Yorkshire, who has built up a fantastic junior section over the last four years.
The Young Ambassador of the Year, presented in association with the Golf Foundation, is Emma Anderson of Sherwood Forest Golf Club. She volunteers widely to encourage new players, especially girls.
The Club Coach of the Year is Ben Knight of Chartham Park Golf Club, Sussex, who works both at the club and in the wider community to introduce golfers of all ages to the game.
The Strongest Community Engagement Award went to Hollingbury Park Golf Course Brighton, Sussex. It’s open to the whole community and it constantly looks for new ways to introduce people to golf and its wellbeing benefits.
The GolfMark Club of the Year, sponsored by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, is The Point at Polzeath in Cornwall. The owners have used GolfMark to create a club for golfers and a hub for holiday makers and the local community.
The Most Welcoming Golf Club, sponsored by american golf, is Fynn Valley Golf Club, Suffolk. The County of the Year, sponsored by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC, is Lancashire.