The Golf World awards reward and encourage best practice to make golf clubs a better place and to improve the experience of members. The 2005 award winners have been published in the January issue of Golf World.
Coombe Hill in Surrey scooped two awards in the inaugural Golf World Club Awards 2005. “A combination of their foresight, boldness and attention to detail,” said the judges, ensured the club took the Course Renovation of the Year award. The club has been rewarded for the remarkable work undertaken by head greenkeeper Murray Long in reshaping all of the course’s 75 bunkers. His creative team includes the BBC’s golf analyst Ken Brown. Coombe Hill also beat off hundreds of the country’s top courses to win the coveted Golf Club of the Year award “for the scale and execution of their project, the biggest in the club’s history.” Also shortlisted were Tralee Golf Club and Bearwood Lakes.
Junior Initiative of the Year went to Foxhills in Surrey. “The club is committed to offering four scholarships a year for the next 10 years. Each youngster will receive six years of free club membership plus £1,000 worth of lessons each year.” Ryder Cup star Paul Casey is a former graduate of the Foxhills Academy.
Innovation of the Year was awarded to Hemsted Forest in Kent, which held off Westport from Ireland. The Kent club introduced a unique scheme that has seen membership increase fivefold. Players buy units based on the numbers of rounds they plan to play between 60 and 500 a year.
Best New Design of the Year was a battle between The Grove in Hertfordshire, the Vale of Glamorgan and the Montgomerie Course at Carton House in Ireland. The County Kildare course, opened in 2003, took the honours. “Many courses claim the title of ‘inland links‘ but few achieve it,” said the Golf World judges. “The Montgomerie is a brilliant modern masterpiece.”
Professional’s Enterprise Award was given to Vale of Glamorgan Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort. With a 400 sq ft pro shop, and four teaching professionals, it is no surprise that the Vale is winning plaudits from members and visitors. “Everything about the Vale says quality,” said the judges. “From the standard of the facilities to the friendliness of the staff and the professionals. They set an example for other clubs to follow.”