Archive for the ‘County Golf Partnerships’ Category

England Golf take on partnership role

THE key roles of the England Golf Partnership, which for 12 years has brought together England Golf and the Professional Golfers’ Association, will be taken on by England Golf.

The roles were to pull together the sport’s Whole Sport Plan and receive golf’s National Lottery grant under Sport England’s previous strategy.

Last month, Sport England announced an £8.48m award to golf, over four years, to support talented players and encourage regular golfers to continue playing. The PGA has withdrawn from EGP, allowing England Golf to become the lead funding body, working with Sport England to support its new strategy for 2017-21.

England Golf and the PGA have, however, made the commitment to continue to work closely together, along with the Golf Foundation, in the best interests of golf in England.

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: “Following receipt of the news of Sport England’s funding award to golf, amicable discussion took place between England Golf and The PGA. In conclusion it was felt that the best outcome for golf in England could be achieved by the PGA stepping out of the EGP, allowing England Golf to be the lead funding body.

“The PGA is, of course, totally committed to working with England Golf and the Golf Foundation to support the growth and development of the game at all levels.

England Golf chief executive Nick Pink commented: “England Golf would like to thank the PGA for their great commitment to golf in England, and I look forward to working with them just as closely to deliver on our plans for the game.

“England Golf will work hard to ensure the Sport England award is invested well into golf in England and looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship with the PGA.”

Lancashire England Golf’s county of the year

LANCASHIRE’S fantastic support for its clubs and players has won the England Golf County of the Year Award. The county was honoured at last night’s 2017 England GolfAwards at Lord’s and will receive £6000 worth of bespoke research from award sponsors Sports Marketing Surveys Inc.  Warwickshire were runners-up.

The awards shone the spotlight on great moments and achievement at all levels of English golf and Lancashire was recognised alongside Olympic champion Justin Rose, Masters champion Danny Willett and Sol
heim Cup player Charley Hull, as well as other players and heroes from the grass roots game.

The audience of more than 400 guests from across the golf industry heard how the Lancashire county golf organisations work in partnership to grow the game.

They put the needs of players and the 158 clubs and facilities at the heart of everything they do and have been rewarded with a 4.3 per cent increase in membership, with particular growth among men and girls.

“This is a huge pat on the back for everyone who has contributed to the initiatives and it validates the work we are doing,” said Phil Harvey, secretary of both the Lancashire Golf Union and the county development group pictured left with the winning team. “It’s great for clubs, for county development officers, for volunteers, for everyone involved.”

He added: “The prize will help us to do more good work and it ties in superbly with what we want to do.”

The county – one of the biggest in England – kick-started its success three years ago with the launch of the Lancashire Golf Union’s development plan. This was followed by the creation of a county development group, with England Golf officers working alongside the union, the ladies’ association and other partners.

The emphasis has been on motivating clubs to be more business-like and to support them with access to planning advice and resources; to encourage new ideas and innovation; and great communications.

Harvey added: “What pleases me most is that the clubs feel much closer to the county, they feel that the county is there for them, to support them. Everyone feels that we are all pulling together to help each other.”

His satisfaction at winning the award was echoed by Debbie Barber, one of England Golf’s county development officers, who said: “Winning the coveted title of best county means the world to us all and what has been achieved the length and breadth of Lancashire has given us a real buzz.”

 

Cheshire clubs play the numbers game

AndyLeigh.jpgCHESHIRE golf clubs are being urged to back a new drive to raise the numbers of juniors playing the sport.

The Cheshire Golf Development Group wants to build on the success of last year’s Girls Golf Rocks campaign in the county to deliver a further boost to the ranks of the next generation of golfers.

More than 50 clubs attended two special junior conferences to hear of plans to launch a new campaign at the beginning of April to attract those interested in giving golf a go.

Clubs are being urged to offer free taster sessions for juniors, a coaching programme to build on the interest and then a pathway into potential membership.

Sean Hammill, England Golf’s county development officer for Cheshire East said: “This is a rallying call to the clubs to bring more juniors into the game and make a real impact on the future of the sport and their own clubs. It is a chance to get youngsters involved at the start of the season and build a programme of coaching activity to keep them interested through the summer and beyond.

“There is a real appetite for young people to play golf and we think that by promoting what the sport has to offer and building strong partnerships among a club’s local community, we can see an increase in the number of juniors at clubs across Cheshire.”

Alison Lysons, who supports clubs in the west of the county, said: “The Girls Golf Rocks campaign was a real success in Cheshire last summer, bringing more girls into the sport with the offer of free taster sessions, on-going coaching and a celebration event at the end. The clubs involved built strong links to local schools and community groups and saw the benefit by creating the right kind of environment for the girls to come into and enjoy their golf together.”

The conferences, at Northenden Golf Club, and Macdonald Portal Golf and Country Club, Tarporley, heard from Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People manager, who reminded clubs that they can help “inspire a love for golf that lasts a lifetime.”

Birchwood Golf Club’s Graham McCormack, who has been actively involved in junior golf at club, county and England level for more than 30 years, offered a number of tips for running a successful junior section.

Andy Leigh, Golf Foundation regional manager (pictured), pinpointed the work that can be done in schools and community groups to encourage young people to get involved and how clubs can encourage them to “start, learn, stay.”

Clubs now have to express their interest in joining the programme in March with the first taster sessions from April onwards to coincide with the first Major of the year, the Masters at Augusta.

Get into golf is a national campaign run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends. To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter twitter.com/getintogolf or on Facebook at facebook.com/Getintogolf

For more details on the work of the Cheshire GDG visit http://www.cheshiregolfpartnership.com

Heysham GC lands innovation award

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Tony McMunn (centre left), a past president of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, presents the winner’s cheque for £750 to Phil Foster, the Heysham president, surrounded by other club officials involved in the award-winning initiative

A Lancashire club with an ambitious approach to encouraging more people into golf has earned an award for its efforts. Heysham has won the top prize in the Lancashire Union of Golf Club’s Innovation Awards.

This is the second year for the awards which seek to recognise clubs taking a proactive and innovative approach to attracting new players, retaining more members and building a strong organisation. Heysham will receive £750 towards future projects to promote the sport.

It launched a series of initiatives aimed at promoting golf over the past 12 months, including investing heavily in new practice facilities which could be used not only by members but by visiting golfers or local residents.

As well as allowing regular players to practice throughout the year, the Swing Lounge and short game area are used to help those returning to the sport or absolute beginners, while it is also wheelchair friendly.

With the help of Sport England Inspired Facilities funding and investment from Clubfit Golf, the club has benefited from £100,000 worth of improvements with the short game area including synthetic mats and greens to allow year-round use. It features two chipping greens, with eight chipping stations and a bunker, while the slopes of the large putting surface challenge players of all abilities. A pitching area allows players to try finding the green from distances up to 100 yards.

The Swing Lounge includess an indoor golf simulator which allows players to tackle a variety of courses from around the world.

It was opened by European Senior Tour player Gary Wolstenholme, a former England amateur international, who conducted a short game clinic at an event attended by 200 people, including local MP David Morris.

The new facilities support the existing floodlit driving range.

PGA professionals Ryan Done and Trevor Newsham,  who were supported in the development by course manager Dave Hutchinson, his team and the club as a whole, have been visiting local schools and hosting Tri-golf events with local community groups in the north Lancashire area.

Activities have included a golf festival for more than 120 primary school pupils, while Heysham High, Morecambe High andMorecambe Road schools regularly visit the club for group coaching sessions.

The club hosts the local Mencap group every week and has staged “Learn to play golf in a day” sessions alongside longer, five-week Get into golf programmes.

General manager Ed Burrow said: “The facility has been received brilliantly, not just by members but everyone from the surrounding areas, both golfers and non-golfers.  Numbers of new visitors have increased considerably,

“All of the activity at the club has increased the visibility and access to golf around the local area and to the general public.  Membership has increased as a direct impact of the improved facilities and the outreach programmes conducted by the club professionals.”

St Helens club Grange Park received £350 after launching the 125 Club to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

The club  had been running ladies’ taster sessions since 2015 but found that while many of those taking part were interested in taking their golf further, the demands of family and work life were an obstacle.

Anne Morris,  one of the 125 Club organiserss alongside Jean Quigley, said: “The ladies who attended the Tasters typically had no previous knowledge of golf, or family/close friends who were golfers.

“The majority of them worked full time. From our discussions we knew that they felt that they did not have the time available, or the competence, to justify joining a golf club.

“So the seed for a ‘125th Anniversary Membership’ was sown. This new category of membership provides the means for beginner ladies to join Grange Park and receive organised support to develop their game. The subscription rate reflects the limited amount of golf that beginner ladies will play.”

To mark the anniversary, the membership fee was pitched at just £1.25 per day and included five free group coaching sessions with PGA professional Paul Roberts

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A group of the participants and organisers of the Grange Park 125 Club initiative, including professional Paul Roberts

Golf wins £8.48m Sport England award

SPORT England has announced an £8.48m award to the England Golf Partnership (EGP) to support talented players and encourage regular golfers to continue playing.

EGP Chairman Nic Coward, said: “There are 3.6m golfers in England, and the game continues to produce many world-class players. We will continue to work with Sport England on our many projects and initiatives that deliver great results across the country.

“Our main aim is for all involved in the sport to work together in partnership, to put golfers first and to give everyone the best possible experience within the sport.

“Now we know the level of award from Sport England, we will consider our next steps, taking time to look at how best to deliver with the resources available to us.”

The funding award comes at a time when golf in England is enjoying a flourishing profile, thanks to the Olympic gold medal success of Justin Rose, reports of increased membership from 30 per cent of clubs, support from Parliamentarians and publicity around the health and wellbeing benefits of the game, which contribute to golf’s positive impact on society.

BBC workers tuck into golf

BBC Salford staff got in the swing when England Golf organised a taster session  –  in their canteen.

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New faces sign up for Golf Partnership

NIC Coward has been appointed independent chairman of the England Golf Partnership (EGP), which works to grow the game by increasing participation. And Martha Brass, a senior operations executive in the media sector, becomes an independent member of the management board.

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