England Golf has appointed PGA professional Helen Searle as a club support officer for the Lancashire region.
Searle, 26, who is based in the Ribble Valley, will team up with Adam McAlister with a brief to attract more players, increase membership and develop stronger clubs across the county.
The work going on in the Red Rose county to not only attract new players, but also provide a solid business foundation for the future for golf facilities sees the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies Golf Association, working closely with the area’s PGA professionals as part of the Lancashire Golf Development Group.
Searle and McAllister will work alongside England Golf Regional Manager Jason Budd to develop and deliver national initiatives and programmes to make golf more accessible to people of all ages and abilities. This includes supporting clubs with two initiatives – the Get into Golf campaign and the achievement of the GolfMark standard. Both promote a more inclusive and friendly approach towards newcomers, ensuring they can play golf regularly.
Searle has been involved with golf since the age of ten, when she played alongside her dad, Peter, at West End golf club in Halifax. She got down to a single figure handicap in her early teens and by 16 was representing both her county and England, competing in the Europeans and Home Internationals.
After achieving her A levels, she went on to pass her PGA degree and played as a professional on the Paul Lawrie Tour while living in Troon, as well as enjoying a string of top-five finishes in WPGA events. Seattle worked as a coach at numerous academies prior to taking on her England Golf role, and has always thrived on the idea of making a difference and helping someone achieve their goals.
“I now have the resources and the tools to provide clubs and golf facilities with extensive support, tailoring to their specific needs,” she said. “I am determined to raise awareness for the game I know and love, and I aim to showcase what every club, big or small, has to offer, whether this be a great place to learn the game or a venue to hold future national events. There is something unique in what each and every club has to offer; it’s my job to show them the potential.”
Searle, whose remit covers clubs in East Lancashire and Greater Manchester, added: “I would urge clubs to use their club support officer. Get me in, talk me through where the club is at now and where it wants to be, then we have a starting point to build a strategy and commit to an action plan; you can’t go wrong with that.”