The man who has helped spearhead the drive to encourage more people to take up golf in Durham is moving to another key role on the county golf scene.
And when Jonathan Ward – the Durham Golf Partnership’s county development officer – takes up his new post in January next year he will be creating a piece of golfing history.
The 42 year-old has been appointed as Secretary to the Durham County Golf Union, the youngest person to hold the post.
Jonathan sees his move as a positive one in continuing the work to promote the game across the county with the added aim of producing more champions of the future.
Originally from South Shields but now living in Durham City, Jonathan’s family has strong golfing links to the area.
His grandfather SG Ward (George) was a past county captain and county champion in the 1950s, who played off a scratch handicap for many years.
The father of one (soon to be two!) started playing golf himself at the age of eight at South Shields GC and is now a member at Durham City, where he plays off a five handicap.
He has been the county development officer for the past five years, during which time he has supported golf clubs and facilities across the county in attracting hundreds of new golfers to the game as part of the National Get into golf initiative and other schemes.
Looking ahead to his new role, Jonathan added: “I’m honoured to be chosen as the next Men’s County Secretary and look forward to the new challenge of continuing the great work that Graham Hope has done over the years.
“Appointing a younger County Secretary is, I feel, a positive move and a statement of intent which shows that the DCGU is looking to modernise the way that they administer coaching, teams and championships.
“I hope that the experience I have gained during my time with England Golf and the relationships forged with the county’s clubs will enable me to bring something extra to the role as I look to build upon the success that teams and championships have seen in recent years.”
Graham Hope, the retiring county secretary, will become County President for 2015. The recruitment process for a new county development officer is now underway with an appointment expected before the end of the year.
Durham County Golf Partnership www.durhamgolfpartnership.com
Durham County Golf Union www.durhamcountygolfunion.co.uk