Durham golf has paid a special tribute to the unsung volunteers who do so much to help grow the game in the region.
The Durham County Golf Partnership’s second Development Awards evening – held at Durham County Cricket Club’s ground in Chester le Street – presented 13 prizes to helpers of all ages and backgrounds.
The meeting also heard about the CGP’s plans for its seventh year and the progress made so far in bringing new players into golf and on into potential club membership.
Clubs learnt how the CGP can help them introduce the sport to people of all ages and abilities with information on development initiatives, resources and available funding.
Says Jonathan Ward, development officer for Durham: “The evening was a great opportunity for club and county representatives to recognise the commitment of volunteers, clubs and coaches. It was also a chance to celebrate their outstanding contributions.
“It was also an opportunity for clubs to learn more about the work of the CGP and meet representatives from England Golf and the Golf Foundation, who are working to encourage more people into the sport, and to celebrate the success of all the past year’s projects.
“It also enabled us to demonstrate the support that is available for clubs to deliver new projects that will help build a sustainable membership for the future.”
More than 120 people attended the evening with awards presented by CGP Chairman Ron Baines Bennett, Jason Budd (England Golf North East and Cumbria Regional Development Officer), Ian Harvey (Golf Foundation Regional Development Officer) and Mark Rayson (PGA Pro and County Academy Programme Co-ordinator).
The award winners were:
Young Volunteer of the Year: Jordan Pout (Durham County Golf Partnership). Volunteering with the CGP saw Jordan fulfilling several roles including website admin, photographer, database admin and events admin.
Volunteer Coach of the Year: Dominic Salmon (Bishop Auckland GC). A Level One coach with the junior section at Bishop Auckland GC
Club Development Volunteer of the Year: Anita Maxwell/Pat Usher (Woodham GC). The pair kept the ladies section together when the club closed, organising trips and competitions at other courses, setting up a ladies section at another club before returning to Woodham when it re-opened.
Get into Golf Project of the Year: Oakleaf Golf Club. Showed commitment to attracting ladies into the game with social and structured coaching activity backed up with playing, competing and membership opportunities tailored towards females, all led by PGA Pro Julie Welch.
County Academy Performance Player of the Year: Marc Cameron (Beamish Park GC)
County Academy Development Player of the Year: Lewis Reay (Ramside Hall GC)/Ellen Robson (Billingham GC)
County Development Volunteer of the Year: Ken Joel (Durham County Golf Union). Volunteering as County Coaching Chairman and supporting the boys team to success in 2014 in winning the Northern Counties Boys Championships and finishing second in the National final.
Services to Golf: George Crawford (Durham CGU/Durham County Junior Golf Society/Durham CGP). Has served his club, the county executive and as county junior executive chairman over the past 40 years.
Services to Golf: Anthea Rowntree (Bishop Auckland GC). Served on club and county committees for many years and occupied roles such as treasurer, handicap secretary and games committee member.
Golf Mark Club of the Year: South Moor Golf Club. Investment by the club improved practice facilities, as well as officials showing a commitment to hosting county, regional and national events at both junior and senior levels.
Get into Golf Centre of the Year: Sunderland Golf Centre. Showed commitment to attracting as many people into the sport and forged a great partnership with Wearside GC to offer exit routes into regular participation and membership. The award was collected by PGA Pro Steve McNally.
Golf Roots Project of the Year: Sharpley Golf Club. Commitment to junior golf, through PGA Pro Simon Robinson delivering coaching within several schools and linking participants back to the junior academy at club.
Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Partnerships, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.
The Durham CGP is supported by the Durham County Golf Union, Durham County Ladies Golf Association and the North East PGA.