The English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) are delighted to announce that East Herts Golf Club is the 500th facility to receive GolfMark, the national accreditation which incorporates Sport England’s Clubmark Award.
The GolfMark scheme was launched in 2006 and identifies and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities.
The EGU/EWGA see the 500th GolfMark award as a genuine landmark in their club development strategy and also their support of the England Golf Partnership’s (EGP) vision to ‘Grow the Game’. Over half of all affiliated clubs have now either earned GolfMark, or are working towards achieving the accreditation.
East Herts Golf Club achieved its GolfMark status while working hard to grow its membership. Regular Saturday coaching sessions for local youngsters have been supported by the opening of a three-hole Par 3 academy course in May this year.
East Herts Golf Club’s General Manager Alex McDonald said: “We are delighted to be the 500th club to achieve GolfMark and the award serves as a badge for people in the area to see that we are welcoming and friendly to new players. Our members understand that juniors and beginners are the future of the club. As we have welcomed youngsters, for example, their Mums have also been keen to join in and we have introduced special coaching sessions for parents.”
The network of County Golf Partnerships (CGPs) and County Development Officers (CDOs) created by the EGP has played a key role in increasing the number of clubs involved with GolfMark. CDOs offer regular support at a local level and EGP partners the EGU, EWGA and the Professional Golfers’ Association work together closely across the CGPs with constant support from the Golf Foundation.
Commenting on the GolfMark Award scheme, Richard Flint, EGU/EWGA Golf Development Manager, said: “GolfMark is an integral part of our club development strategy and it is hugely encouraging to reach this 500 figure after a great deal of hard work from all involved.
“Junior golf in England has developed greatly over recent years and it is important that this continues to thrive. However, it is also essential that we focus on the adult element of the game, to ensure that both junior and adult golf develops within clubs to support the health of these golf clubs and the future of the game in England.”
To recognise the 500th club, COBRA PUMA GOLF will be providing East Herts Golf Club with a personalised GolfMark Cobra Tour bag.
Ian Barrett, European Marketing Manager for COBRA PUMA GOLF, said: “We are really proud of our support for GolfMark and are delighted that the scheme is continuing to go from strength to strength, encouraging more people to get involved in the game of golf. “COBRA PUMA GOLF is all about helping golfers of all skill levels to enjoy everything about the game and supporting a programme like GolfMark is a perfect match in terms of our joint approach to wanting to make golf more accessible, and certainly more colourful and fun. COBRA PUMA GOLF would like to add our personal congratulations to East Herts Golf Club for all their efforts.”
The EGU/EWGA are reviewing the GolfMark initiative to ensure that it meets all the requirements of the current golfing landscape and delivers the best possible support.
Nominations are currently being received from CGPs for the GolfMark Club of the Year Award 2012, which highlights the work of those facilities who have shown an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf. The winner of this prestigious award, which is supported by COBRA-PUMA GOLF, will be announced in February 2012.
COBRA-PUMA GOLF has been supporting the GolfMark initiative in recent times by providing a prize for GolfMark Club of the Year, as well as for the quarterly and annual prize draws made available to all clubs involved in the programme.
GolfMark is open to all affiliated golf clubs and details of the assessment process, benefits, rewards and recognition and case studies can be viewed online at www.golfmark.org
East Herts Golf Club www.easthertsgolfclub.co.uk
From left: Club Captain Derek Godber, club Teaching Professional Ian Taylor, club General Manager Alex McDonald receiving the GolfMark certificate from County Development Officer Ben Hartfield and Vice Captain Geoff Cooper.