David and Margo Horsburgh have been named as the first joint winners of the Gerald Micklem Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to amateur golf in England.
Thanks to the couple’s tireless efforts at club, county, schools’ and national level spanning six decades, thousands of golfers have been able to develop a love of the game and progress in their chosen sport.
On and off the course, the Horsburghs have become a much-loved and respected double act on the amateur championship scene. Married for 57 years, their devotion to each other is matched by their dedication to English amateur golf, particularly in their adopted home county of Norfolk.
The award announcement was made during the England Golf AGM, which was held online due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
The couple – originally from Dunfermline in Scotland – expressed their pride at being chosen for the honour.
“This award is not just for us as a couple, but for the many thousands of willing volunteers who do so much to help the game of golf,” admitted David who served in the Royal Air Force for 32 years. “We were really surprised when we learned we’d won the award, but so appreciative and thrilled as the list of former winners is very special.”
Margo added: “When we first started working at championships, with what was then the English Golf Union, there was a picture in the mobile office which showed winners of the Gerald Micklem award. We were aware of it from that day, but never once thought we would win it. It’s been a joy to be involved in golf over the years and in particular working to help the juniors make their way in the game.
“We’ve done everything together as a couple. James Crampton, championship director at England Golf, always jokes that we’re joined at the hip. Everyone knows you get two for the price of one where we’re concerned!”
David started his volunteer journey in 1977 as junior organiser at Lark Valley Golf and Country Club. Over the decades he has served with distinction at his home club of Thetford, the Norfolk Schools’ Golf Association and the English Schools’ Golf Association. With the ESGA, David has worked as championship chairman, executive committee member, chairman (twice), president and treasurer.
England Golf has also been fortunate to call on David’s expertise both as a rules official since 1999 and member of the tournament panel from 2003 to the present date. Margo, too, sits on the tournament panel.
Margo began volunteering in golf in 1998 and, up until last year, she carried out duties as secretary of the Norfolk Schools’ Golf Association. Her work with the English Schools’ Golf Association has also been unstinting. In the last 18 years she has taken on roles as assistant secretary, secretary and then, in 2015, became the association’s first woman president. She remains secretary of the Norfolk Ladies’ County Golf Association. David was honorary secretary of the Norfolk County Golf Union from 2008-2012.
The couple have no intention of giving up on their volunteer work.
“We hope to get back to championships this summer and meet up with so many of the good friends we have made over the years working with England Golf,” confirmed Margo.
Although they watched golfers such as Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick and Bronte Law shine at junior events before turning professional, the couple’s personal highlight was the 2006 National Schools’ Team Championship at Clitheroe Golf Club. A team of boys – much younger than their fellow competitors – from Wymondham High School in their beloved Norfolk won the title. Margo and David were later invited to take part in a school assembly to recognise the boys’ achievement.