The English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) national accreditation scheme, which incorporates Sport England’s Clubmark Award, has excelled over recent years, with golf clubs embracing the benefits of developing their facilities to support beginner and junior golf.
With a further 600 golf clubs nationwide working towards this accreditation, the EGU and EWGA is delighted with the success of this scheme and through the network of Development Officers support available for GolfMark and other development initiatives has never been better.
The rate of progress can be measured by the fact that it was only back in April that Stonebridge Golf Club in the Midlands was being celebrated for becoming the 300th GolfMark club.
Richard Flint, EGU/EWGA Golf Development Manager said: “Without doubt GolfMark is playing a major part in helping golf clubs to develop and restructure. Due to the economic climate, golf clubs have faced a number of challenges; however it is these GolfMark facilities who are now leading the way in terms of recruiting members.
“I think that the rate of clubs now achieving GolfMark is really healthy and a very exciting sign that genuine progress is being made by all involved to promote beginner-friendly facilities. This can only help to raise golf participation and membership levels as we go forwards.”
Based on recent research into GolfMark facilities, more than half (53%) reported an increase in membership, demonstrating the benefit of having a structured approach to development.
Sandburn Hall Golf Club is now the 400th club to receive GolfMark, and its inclusive approach in encouraging new players is typical of all the clubs that have achieved accreditation.
Sandburn Hall Clubhouse Manager Emma Brown said: “We are delighted to receive GolfMark. As a new golf club established five years ago, the GolfMark process has been very helpful in providing best practices to welcome and encourage golfers of all ages. Our GolfMark accreditation will help us to promote the club well to the wider community and build on the great progress we have made, including success in county and national coaching at the club.”
GolfMark is open to any EGU/EWGA affiliated golf club and facilities involved in the scheme have access to a number of rewards and recognitions as detailed on the GolfMark website, www.golfmark.org, which include funding for coaching and free places on workshops.
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’.
Sandburn Hall Golf Club www.sandburnhall.co.uk