De Vere Slaley Hall’s renowned Golf Course & Estate Manager, Stephen Cram, has received the highest accolade from his colleagues and peers within the golf industry by being named as ‘Greenkeeper of the Year’ at the annual Pro Shop Europe Awards. Cram has received a wealth of praise throughout the year for his sterling work in preparing the Hunting course at De Vere Slaley Hall to such a fantastic standard for the 40th anniversary of the PGA Cup, and for his assistance in ensuring that De Vere Mottram Hall was in the finest tournament standard, ready to welcome the world’s leading senior golfers for the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship. The awards recognise the finest individuals and organisations from across the golf industry, and Cram’s award underlines his credentials as one of the UK’s most accomplished greenkeepers.
Steve has been a long-standing member of the team at De Vere Slaley Hall and has been integral in developing the North East resort’s reputation as one of the UK’s premier golfing destinations and tournament venues. As well as maintaining a championship standard of the golf course through challenging weather conditions all year round, Steve has overseen 6 European Tour and 13 European Senior Tour events at the Northumberland resort. Cram and his team implemented a strenuous programme of course and drainage improvements over the winter months, and this paid dividend throughout the peak season, culminating in the 26th hosting of the PGA Cup matches, where the course received adulation from key officials and dignitaries. Amongst those to praise the fantastic conditioning of the Dave Thomas designed Hunting course were Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of the PGA; Allen Wronowski, Honorary President of the PGA of America and US Team Captain; and Ted Bishop, President of the PGA of America.
“Steve is a credit to his profession, Slaley Hall, and De Vere,” commented Keith Pickard, Regional Golf Director – De Vere. “He is a true leader who loves his trade and has a fantastic ability to galvanise and motivate his team of green staff. His passion and pride inspires his team to put in the extra hours to ensure everything is perfectly prepared, and he stands as a role model for heads of departments across the whole De Vere Group. The award is richly deserved, and I am glad that the commitment to his work has got him the industry recognition that he deserves.”
Due to Steve’s wealth of tournament experience, having prepared Slaley Hall for the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship on numerous occasions previously, he was enlisted to assist the team at another of the flagship De Vere resorts, Mottram Hall, ahead of the event moving to the Cheshire resort for the first time. Working alongside Stuart Stenhouse, the Course Manager, they managed to successfully overcome the challenges that go with hosting the first regular event of the European Senior Tour calendar early in the year, in northern England, and presented an immaculate golf course that was roundly applauded by guests and competitors alike.