Romiley Golf Club’s Head Pro Wins Top Annual Award in Harrogate

Alex White was named as Foremost’s Professional of the Year at the group’s annual Golf Industry Awards Dinner at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.

The head professional at the Cheshire club received the award from Peter Durham, Foremost’s Head of Membership Services, and Company Director, Andy Martin, after being nominated alongside Mark Rodgers (York Golf Club), Graeme Bell (Linlithgow) and Nevil Bland (Brocton Hall).

“Alex has done a magnificent job at Romiley Golf Club,” said Durham. “He’s rejuvenated the shop and built a successful coaching business and clearly deserves this prestigious award.

“It’s his ‘can do attitude’ and his attention to detail that has made all the difference at the club.

“Alex is a great communicator who manages to deliver expert advice that is easy for golfers of all standard to absorb and understand.”

White was one of a number of winners at an Awards Dinner attended by 200 members and compered by BBC sports commentator, Andrew Cotter. Comedian, Paul Zerdin, provided the evening’s other entertainment.

Warren Wood (Rochester & Cobham Park), Stuart Kerr (Strathaven), Nick Lowe (Grange-Over-Sands) and Andrew Greenbank (Preston) were all nominated in the Breakthrough Professional of the Year category with the award going to Wood after a successful year during which he has made a massive impact at the Kent club.

“Warren has taken an average pro shop and turned it into an inviting, exciting and professional environment,” said Durham. “His business is flourishing. He’s always willing to learn and try new ideas and he refuses to stand still.

“His hard work and proactivity have culminated in a premier coaching, custom fitting and retail business.”

Foremost’s Elite Marketing Programme (EMP) Professional of the Year Award went to Ian Orrell, the head professional at Bolton Golf Club in Lancashire. He pipped Mike Ovett (Hassocks), Stuart Wilson (Eastwood) and George Porter (North Hants) for what was a highly competitive category.

“Ian is an incredibly proactive Foremost member professional who creates consistently high quality Elite Marketing Programme digital newletters and web content,” said Durham.

“Our EMP professionals have had a very successful year and Ian is one of the best.”

This year’s Foremost Suppliers Awards were handed out by Company Director, Andy Martin, and Foremost Chairman, Chris Steele. There are ten key awards in this category with PING claiming the Supplier of the Year Award for a remarkable seventh year in succession. The other winners were FootJoy (Apparel Range of the Year), Sunderland Dolphin Collection (Waterproof Model of the Year), FootJoy Contour Series (Shoe of the Year), Vokey SM5 (Wedge of the Year), Odyssey Versa (Putter Model of the Year), Titleist ProV1 (Ball of the Year), Motocaddy S1 (Electric Trolley of the Year), TaylorMade Speedblade (Iron Model of the Year), Callaway X2 Hot (Wood Model of the Year) and Motocaddy M1Pro (Most Innovative Product 2014).

The Awards section of the dinner was concluded with special commemorative plaques being awarded to Foremost CEO Paul Hedges, Steve Porter (North Hants Golf Club) and Clive Dell (Oakdale Golf Club) in recognition of the fact they were founder members of the Foremost group when it was established 30 years ago in October, 1994. They were applauded onto the stage to the sound of Wham’s Freedom which was No. 1 in the charts during the week when Foremost was founded.

“We have come a long way during the last 30 years and it’s great to see we are still developing and adapting to the challenges we face in the modern world,” said Hedges after the dinner.

“The market is still difficult but the group is performing well and I think we can look forward to the next 30 years with a considerable amount of optimism.”