Phil Graham is swapping the classroom for the clubhouse as he starts a new job to help grow the game of golf in County Durham. The 30 year-old has been appointed as development officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership.
The one-handicapper, who is a member at Morpeth Golf Club, has spent the past five years as a primary school teacher in Wallsend but is now teeing up a fresh challenge helping golf clubs across the county attract and retain members.
An active competitor in events across the region, Graham was a member of the winning team from his home town club – Bishop Auckland – in the 2006 Clark Cup, which earned them a place in the national finals.
He went on to win the club championship in 2007, with his lowest competitive round of a seven under par 65 coming at Westerhope GC in 2012.
His sporting interest started early and he represented St Johns’ RC Comprehensive School across a range of sports while taking up golf at Bishop Auckland GC at the age of 12.
“I attended the Saturday morning taster sessions with the club professional and I was hooked,” he says.
Dad Ian is a former Captain at Bishop Auckland and introduced Phil and younger brother Andy to the sport.
During his time at Northumbria University in Newcastle taking a degree in Sport Science and Psychology, he played in league and championship matches, and he has played county golf at both junior and adult level – including representing Northumberland last year against Durham!
“But I am still a Durham lad at heart,” he says, “and I am really excited at the prospect of working with clubs and golf facilities across the county to help introduce new people to the sport, encourage them into golf club membership and retain the members we have now.
“It was a difficult decision to leave the teaching profession, but due to my passion for golf I decided to pursue a career in which I could use my enthusiasm for the game in a work environment.
“I am looking forward to continuing the excellent work of outgoing CDO Jonathan Ward and getting to know about the needs of clubs and people across the region.”
Phil is married to Laura and the couple live in Morpeth with two-years-old daughter Isabelle.
Any club requiring advice and support for its future plans, should contact Phil on 0758 4240420 or email email@example.com
Phil will be supporting the work of the Get into golf programme, 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.
Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster session and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.
Get into golf http://getintogolf.org
Durham CGP visit www.durhamgolfpartnership.com
View more stories about ‘Growing The Game’ and latest list of Most-read stories