The club impressed judges with programmes to encourage both juniors and adults into golf, while creating the kind of welcoming environment that serves as an excellent advertisement for the game.
Representatives of Chapel-en-le-Frith received their GolfMark Club of the Year accolade during the England Golf Partnership’s County Development Conference on 23rd February. Jacques Retief, representing Cobra Golf, presented the award along with prizes of Cobra Golf equipment.
The English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) introduced this award to recognise those facilities that have shown an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf.
During the last year Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club has reached out consistently to schools and the community and fostered a friendly, family atmosphere at the club. Juniors compete regularly with adults and adults enjoy a mentoring ‘buddy’ scheme. Junior coaching sessions and competitions are regular events, while growing links with local schools provide a pathway to encourage new youngsters to develop their golf at the club under expert supervision.
The golf club’s award nomination is packed with examples of how accommodating a club can be to new players, from Texas scrambles and quiz nights to encouraging parents to join in with junior activity. Chapel-en-le-Frith has also shown innovation in recruitment, including tailored easy payment schemes, ‘beat-the-recession’ special prices, temporary memberships (attracting 70 players in 2009), new categories of membership and use of intelligent marketing (including radio advertising, visits to school assemblies and open days and taster sessions).
GolfMark is a national scheme that identifies and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities. Any golf club awarded GolfMark is recognised by Sport England as a Clubmark facility, which is a national standard identifying quality sports clubs across the country.
Cobra Golf is supporting GolfMark by providing prizes to award winners (winner and two runners-up) and prizes for the quarterly and annual prize draws made available to all accredited clubs.
Jacques Retief, representing Cobra Golf, commented, “Cobra Golf is delighted to be able to reward everyone at Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club for all their hard work and effort. They really deserve the accolade of GolfMark Club of the Year and we wish them continued success with all their initiatives.”
Chapel-en-le-Frith edged out runners-up for the award Paultons Golf Centre in Hampshire and Stoke by Nayland Golf Club in Essex. This final three won through a tough judging procedure which saw them initially compete against nominations from County Golf Partnerships to then reach a shortlist of eight clubs that were assessed by a panel from the EGU, EWGA, PGA and the Golf Foundation.
EGU and EWGA Golf Development Manager, Richard Flint said, “We have been extremely impressed with the quality of clubs nominated for this year’s award. It is clear that everyone who was nominated has shown both dedication and creativity in the work they do in welcoming both juniors and beginners to the game and they are all great ambassadors for golf.”
Any affiliated golf club can apply to gain GolfMark accreditation. The initiative provides golf clubs with a focused and structured plan for future development as well as a comprehensive set of information that ensures continuity and effective monitoring and evaluation of their activities. Details of the initiative, the clubs awarded and the benefits of receiving the GolfMark Award, can all be found at www.golfmark.org
GolfMark is an initiative jointly provided by the EGU and EWGA via England Golf’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of England Golf’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.
Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club www.chapelgolf.co.uk