Golf volunteer James Drury is putting something back into the sport he loves. The 18 year-old from Droitwich has clocked up more than 50 hours of his free time helping out at Gaudet Luce Golf Club and his achievement has been recognised with a certificate and pin badge from England Golf.
As well as supporting the work of PGA professional Russell Adams in running coaching sessions, the Droitwich Spa High School pupil has been helping younger members of the club make their mark.
He has also been helping out at special sessions to help blind people get into golf by acting as a mentor.
James became interested in golf at the age of 12 after brother Matthew had taken up the sport.
He says: “I started playing golf when I was 12 as my brother had just started and after my first lesson I came away thinking this is what I want to do. Both my parents also play, including my mum who only recently took up the sport.
“Russell has been very supportive in me joining in on the coaching side. I have helped out with New2Golf practice evenings on the range, blind golf coaching sessions by pairing up with a blind person and their guide on the par 3 course, as well as girls’ county coaching sessions – Russell is the girls’ county coach.
“I’ve also helped some younger members achieve their handicaps by completing handicap cards for them. I want to try and give them the feeling I got when I first started, which I can’t value any higher.”
James is a member of the England Youth Panel, adding: “I was excited to be selected as it is a great opportunity to discuss ways in which we can encourage more young people to get into golf.”
James’s ambition is to work in the golf industry, adding: “I’m working on getting my handicap down to four and studying for my A levels with the hope that one day I may be able to complete a golf degree and work within the industry.”
He would recommend golf to people of all ages, saying: “I would encourage everyone to take up golf as it’s an incredibly rewarding sport with a very good social side, which means making new friends is easy.
“I was very lucky when I first started as my local club is very accommodating and welcoming to every one of all ages and abilities. Russell and his team of coaches have a fantastic knowledge and were able to provide quality coaching to give me a perfect footing in the game, but with the priority being on fun and enjoying golf.”
Mark Laing, development officer for the Worcestershire Golf Development Group, says: “James should be congratulated for the time and effort he has put back into the sport.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of many clubs and organisations and the hours of unpaid work they undertake are vital to the well-being of the sport.
“They carry out that work without looking for recognition for their efforts, but it is nice once in a while to pay tribute and say thanks for everything they contribute to the golfing world.”
The England Golf Partnership (EGP) brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the Professional Golfers’ Association, to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England National Lottery funding.
County Golf Development Groups, involving the county men’s, women’s and professional organisations, are part of the EGP’s Whole Sport Plan for golf and an integral part of its vision to make England the world’s leading golf nation by 2020.
The EGP runs a national Get into golf campaign through its network of Golf Development Groups. The campaign offers low-cost taster and coaching opportunities to inspire people to try the game. More details at http://www.getintogolf.org/
In Worcestershire, the GDG is supported by the Worcestershire Union of Golf Clubs, Worcestershire and Herefordshire Ladies Golf Association and the PGA of Worcestershire.
More information on the work of the Worcestershire group can be found at www.partnership.worcestershireamateurgolf.co.uk