The winners of the first England Golf Awards have been honoured for their outstanding contribution to the sport and to growing the game. They were celebrated at a gala dinner for their excellent and innovative activities which support for the England Golf strategy, Raising Our Game.
The strategy calls on all who care about the sport to work together to create a brighter future for the game. Its aims include more members, more players, stronger clubs and identifying and developing winning golfers.
The award winners were:
• Young Volunteer of the Year – Jake Conroy, 19, of Little Hay Golf Club, Hertfordshire; Jake, who has cerebral palsy, champions both junior and disability golf and spends much of his time volunteering.
• Volunteer of the Year – Margaret Bedford of Strawberry Hill Golf Club, Middlesex; Margaret has transformed the junior section at her club and raised the profile of Strawberry Hill in the local community.
• Lifetime Service Award – Anne Herbert of Gosforth Park Ladies, Northumberland; Anne, who has just retired as President of the Northumberland Ladies’ Association, was recognised for her work with her club, county, region and county vets’ association.
• Talent Pathway Award – Gareth Snelgrove of Hagley Golf Club, Worcestershire; Gareth, a PGA coach, has created a local pathway offering school pupils a taste of the game – with the emphasis on fun – and follow up opportunities for coaching in the club’s junior academy and golf club membership.
• Participation Award – Scott Rusbridge and Tom Hide, Coastal Golf Academy, Essex; The two PGA professionals run their academy at four clubs – Frinton, Millers Barn, Harwich and Colne Valley – and aim to inspire golfers of all ages and backgrounds to play the game and become members.
• Membership Award – Ken Wilson of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire; Ken has grown the membership at his club with a warm welcome and new ideas, such as persuading the club to offer discounted memberships to attract specific age groups.
• Modernisation Award – Mark Rozenbroek of One Stop Golf, Hull; Mark has realised his dream of creating the ‘ultimate golf gaming centre’ where people of all ages and abilities can enjoy the game.
• GolfMark Club of the Year – Windlesham Golf Club, Surrey; Windlesham won the award for their great work to get juniors and beginners into the game.
• Coaching achievement award – Graham Walker of The Oaks, Yorkshire; Graham Walker was honoured for his many achievements as lead coach to the national men’s squad.
• London Pride Steward of the Year – Samantha Hudson of Swaffham Golf Club, Norfolk.