Archive for November, 2017

Club managers working with England Golf

GOLF club managers are working with England Golf to help shape the business support it offers.  The new Club Managers’ Advisory Group provides an ear-to-the-ground, offering feedback and opinions on the programmes and resources offered.

Abbie Lench, England Golf’s head of club support, commented: “Our aim is to create stronger clubs which are thriving, healthy businesses and to do that successfully we need to know the views and needs of club managers.

This group is a great sounding board and it helps us shape what we do and how we do it.”

The group is chaired by Alistair Booth, an England Golf board member and chairman of Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire, and its 12 members represent the full range of clubs.

For example Jenny Holmes is a director of Fynn Valley Golf Club in Suffolk, a rural, family-run business which won England Golf’s Most Welcoming Club of the Year Award for 2017.

Emma Clifford is the general manager of Aldwickbury Park, a proprietary club in Hertfordshire, while Gary Pearce is the general manager/secretary of Fulford Golf Club, a private members’ club in York. Both Emma and Gary are past winners of the Golf Club Manager of the Year Award.

“I felt we had a responsibility, as part of the golf community, to join the group,” said Gary. “We network with other clubs and hear what their problems and needs are and I can feed that back, I’m not there just for Fulford Golf Club.” In particular, he’s aware of the number of clubs which seek support with business planning.

Both Emma and Jenny like getting a behind-the-scenes look at England Golf. “It is lovely to be able to advise golf club members and fellow golfers of what their subscriptions and Sport England funding supports,” said Emma.

“Members and the management team at the club will gain a huge benefit, a good understanding of where golf in England is now, what is coming next, and the goal. The great thing is we can all do something to help make it happen.”

She added: “It is also lovely to be able to give a little something back to golf after everything it has given to me.” Emma played for England before turning professional, competing on the Ladies European Tour, gaining her PGA qualification, then moving in to club management.

Jenny highlights the benefit of the varied views represented by the cross section of group members and commented: “We are a diverse industry and this group is giving a voice to the industry and, more to the point, the governing body is listening.”

She added: “It’s also valuable for England Golf because we have become ambassadors in our local community and can say what’s being done. That’s important, before I joined the group I wasn’t sure about the vast majority of what they did.”

The other group members are: Niki Hunter, Golf Club Managers’ Association;  Stephen Boustead, Manchester Golf Club; Scott Morley, Sandilands Golf Club, Lincolnshire; Richard Penley-Martin, Ganton Golf Club, Yorkshire; Michael Robinson, Bamburgh Castle Golf Club, Northumberland; Lindsay Salvini, Crosland Heath Golf Club, Yorkshire; Michael Thorpe, Scarcroft Golf Club, Yorkshire; and Richard Weeks, Hunley Golf Club, Yorkshire.

England Golf also consults with multi-course operators, listening to their commercial considerations and the issues involved in running businesses from more than one site.

It has a nationwide network of club support officers who work directly with golf clubs and centres, and a range of resources, from mapping tools to identify potential customers to advice on retention and recruitment. This, together with input from regional and national officers, provides extensive business support to clubs.



Cheshire club earns England Golf award


PUTTING ON THE STYAL: Sean Hammilll (centre) presents the GolfMark Award to the club’s PGA professional, Mark Johnson (left), and golf director  Glynn Traynor 

CHESHIRE club Styal, which is backing the drive to grow the game, has received the GolfMark Award from England Golf .

The 18-hole course, which also boasts a 9-hole par 3 facility, driving range and coaching academy, was presented with official seal of approval for clubs which successfully work to develop the game in four ways:

  • By attracting new members and encouraging existing members to play more
  • Using practical business planning to develop the club
  • Offering coaching and playing opportunities for all golfers
  • Ensuring safeguarding policies are in place

During the year the club introduced several new schemes and policies to grow the game.  As a result, more than 70 new adult golfers attended Get into Golf beginner courses, designed to be social, fun, structured and rewarding. A high percentage continue to progress through the programme.

Membership options have been reshaped to offer what customers want and this has helped to attract more new members and to retain existing ones.

The junior golf academy has gone from strength to strength, with more than 115 youngsters attending weekly coaching classes and in excess 200 juniors taking part in summer camps.

Golf director Glynn Traynor said: “This award helps us to spread that message and to tell people that children are safe and secure here and that we understand about beginner golfers. We have a more optimistic view of the future and a clear plan of where we are heading for 2018/19 and look forward to the challenges and rewards.”

The award was presented to Styal by Sean Hammill, England Golf’s club support officer for Cheshire who said: “I’m delighted that Styal has achieved GolfMark and that its outstanding initiatives to grow the game can be nationally recognised.”

The GolfMark award was developed by England Golf and also integrates Sport England’s Clubmark award – a national standard for quality sports clubs recognised across the country.

GolfMark brings a number of benefits to clubs including raising awareness, access to funding, business and marketing support and training opportunities for staff and volunteers. To find out more visit


Lancs clubs help stroke survivors

LANCASHIRE clubs have been working with the Stroke Association to deliver Get into Golf sessions.

The game has been identified as an option for people recovering from a stroke and its health and social benefits are seen as positive factors in the rehabilitation process.

A number of people who had taken part in the sessions came together at Mytton Fold Golf Club

Club Support Officers for England Golf, covering Lancashire, have been working with local Stroke Association staff survivors to establish a pathway into the sport.

John Collins & Ray Brown  Winners.png

Debbie Barber, from Lancashire GDG, said: “For anyone who has had a stroke the road to recovery can be a long one. Golf is just one way of helping them regain their physical fitness while regaining their confidence to get out and about and meet up with people.

“By taking part in sessions with people in a similar situation, it has encouraged an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support.

“From the small beginnings of the pilot scheme – which involved clubs in Blackburn, Rochdale, Lee Park in Liverpool and Fleetwood – we now hope to roll this programme out to a wider audience.”

Members at Mytton Fold were on hand to support the 16 players in a six-hole competition out on the course, while a further 20 stroke survivors took part in an indoor putting contest.

Pictured are John Collins and Ray Brown, from the Bowlee Park Golf Driving Range scheme, Rochdale, and the Rochdale Stroke Association, were winners on the day

Barber added: “We are grateful to Fairway Credit, the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, England Golf and the Golf Foundation for donating prizes and to all the volunteers who have supported this programme.”

Joanne Mundey, Stroke Association support co-ordinator, said: “More people than ever before are surviving a stroke. But many stroke survivors tell us that they can feel isolated when they return home.

“The Get into Golf sessions provide an opportunity for stroke survivors to socialise with others who are also experiencing a life after stroke, benefit from exercise, build their confidence and enjoy learning new skills.

“We’re thrilled the course has been really popular with local stroke survivors and would encourage people to get in touch should they like to get involved in any future sessions.”

Future plans include the formation of a Stroke Survivors Golf Society for survivors and their support workers.

Further details are available by contacting your local club support officer or the Stroke Association.

Leigh duo just miss out on Morocco challenge

LONG serving Leigh professional Andrew Baguley and amateur partner John Taylor finished a commendable joint third in the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge in Morocco.

Winners were Lincolnshire duo Paul Bradshaw and retired GP Chris Hall who found the perfect antidote to combat the challenge of Moor Hall whose score was matched by Leigh.

It came in the form of a birdie-laden and bogey-free negotiation of the Gary Player-designed course at Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort that resulted in a comfortable victory for the pair from Holme Hall, Lincolnshire, who tied with Leigh.

They had begun the second and final round of the stableford format event a point adrift of their PGA Midland region rivals and tournament leaders, Moor Hall’s Cameron Clark and his club captain Paul Brindley.

Come half way the deficit had been erased then, with the duo from Sutton Coldfield seemingly becalmed, they posted four birdies for a total score of 85 and victory by three points.

The last of those birdies, was recorded at the par five 18th by Mills, a 20-handicapper who looked anything but as his chip and run came to rest inches from the hole for a tap-in.

It was a fitting way to win the tournament that, supported by Golfplan Insurance, carries a £22,000 prize fund of which £5,000 goes to the winning pro.


PGA joins forces with Asian Golf Industry Federation

FOLLOWING the success of its first overseas PGA Members’ International Conference in Thailand, The PGA has signed up as an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).

The PGA has become the latest international body to join forces with AGIF, whose aim is to develop and lead the growth of golf across Asia.

The new partnership will allow The PGA to highlight the roles and work of its Professionals in the region and identify potential employment opportunities for its Members.

No fewer than 1,500 PGA Professionals of Great Britain and Ireland are working in 81 overseas locations across the globe, including dozens of Asian countries.

Speaking about the partnership Rob Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, said: “Asia continues to be an important market for The PGA and its members who have been working there to develop golf for many years.

“The recent gathering of Members at our conference at Laguna Phuket allowed them to gain good knowledge from some excellent speakers which will ultimately help them develop in their current roles. The conference also allowed us to engage face-to-face with our Members in the region and see how we can support them into the future.

“Given the ever-growing number of PGA Members who are working in Asia, it makes perfect sense for us to join with AGIF. We very much hope to be able to contribute further to the development of golf across Asia.”

AGIF looks to develop golf across Asia in a variety of ways. It provides educational events, seminars and workshops and conducts research that benefits the golf industry in the area.

The Federation provides a networking platform for its members, which includes key decision makers in the Asian golf industry, and AGIF also addresses many key issues relevant to the sport, such as environmental sustainability and the growth of the game.

Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s chief executive, added: “We offer a very warm welcome to the Federation to Robert Maxfield and The PGA, the world’s oldest Professional Golf Association.

“The PGA is a members’ organisation which educates and trains PGA Professionals to degree level with the very latest skills and expertise to operate in all areas of golf, so golfers can coach and play while golf clubs benefit from the successful management of their facility.

“The AGIF is already heavily invested in education with course superintendents and club managers in Asia. Working with The PGA, we can now look forward also to expanding our brief to include PGA professionals.”


Palmer hands himself a wedding present


SMILES: From left, Andy Palmer, John Dowd, Graham Cox and Chris Bamford

BRIDEGROOM-to-be Andy Palmer gave himself an extra wedding present when he topped the professional leaderboard in the Manchester Alliance at Mottram Hall with 37 points.

The Chorley assistant finished one clear of Lymm’s Graham Cox and Kieron Gaskell, from Westhoughton

Davenport’s Jamie Howarth was leading assistant with 34 points. And his club also featured in the pro-am prizes as former captain Chris Bamford partnered Cox, a former assistant at the club, hauled in 42 points.

Top of the am-am were Lee Warren (Northenden) and Jimmy O’Reilly (Swinton Park) with 42 points.


Rooke swoops to win merit award

LEE Rooke clinched the PGA Cheshire & North Wales Members’ Tour Order of Merit despite failing to win any of the six fixtures.

But the Royal St David’s assistant was never out of the top 10 as he registered two second places, two thirds, a fifth and an eighth.

Ashton-on-Mersey’s Oliver Smith, who scored two aces in four months, clinched the final event at Knutsford with a mixed bag of bag of birdies, bogeys and an eagle in his one-under-par 71,

Rooke was a shot off the pace alongside Alderley Edge’s Charles Le Sueur and Ben Thompson, from Hazel Grove.

LEADING SCORES: 71 Oliver Smith (Ashton-on-Mersey); 72 Charles Le Sueur (Alderley Edge), Ben Thompson (Hazel Grove), Lee Rooke (Royal St David’s); 73 Graham Cox (Lymm), Oliver Pantoja (OP Golf), Benjamin Stanier (Wilmslow), Rhodri Fieldhouse (American Golf); 74 Tim Maxwell (Knutsford), Gary Brown (Marple).

ORDER OF MERIT: Lee Rooke (Royal St David’s) 626.67pts; Grant Edwards (Lakeside) 497.08; Oliver Pantoja (Hazel Grove) 447.50; Benjamin Thompson (Hazel Grove) 403.75; Rhodri Fieldhouse (American Golf) 376.25,