Archive for the ‘England Golf’ Category

England Golf sign up new sponsors

ENGLAND Golf has announced that Bridgestone, its partner for the club golfers’ Chase Your Dream Trophy, has become the first event sponsor of the England Golf Awards 2018. Another six sponsors are welcomed for their support of individual categories.

Bridgestone’s event sponsorship includes supporting the prestigious Lifetime Service Award which will recognise someone who has made a remarkable contribution to golf over many years. The 2017 winner, Jenny Hobbs of Bath Golf Club, received a standing ovation at the Awards dinner.

The latest category sponsors are:

The PGA, new sponsors of the Coach of the Year Award

Players 1st, new sponsors of the Volunteer of the Year

American Golf will once again sponsor the Most Welcoming Club category

SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. return to sponsor the County of the Year Award

The Golf Foundation is again associated with the Young Ambassador of the Year

Derek Burridge Trophies, sponsors of the winners’ trophies

HowDidiDo has previously been announced at the sponsor of the Club of the Year Award.

England Golf chief executive Nick Pink commented: “We are thrilled to be joined by these sponsors whose support is hugely valued and adds enormously to the prestige of the England Golf Awards.

“We have had a tremendous response to our request for nominations for the Awards and we are looking forward to a great night when we hear the inspirational stories of our finalists and applaud our winners.”

The England Golf Awards 2018 will be made at the Royal Lancaster London on February 22 and will celebrate the people, clubs and counties who make the game great.

The black-tie gala dinner will be a must-attend date for everyone who cares about golf and offers a chance to hear about the outstanding achievements of the finalists and to applaud the winners.

Tickets cost £85 per person and include drinks on arrival and a three course meal with half a bottle of wine. Visit for more information.

Here’s what the sponsors have to say:

Bridgestone is the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer and an official International Olympic Committee Partner, promoting the concept Chase Your Dream, No Matter What. Andy Mathias, marketing communications manager, North Europe Region, said: “Bridgestone is proud to sponsor the Lifetime Service Award which acknowledges outstanding, selfless work over many years. Bridgestone has already aligned itself with similarly impressive performers through its Chase Your Dream Trophy, run in partnership with England Golf. This competition couldn’t have been better named as so many dreams were realised during its various stages.”

The PGA has more than 7,000 members who enhance the golfing experience of countless players. Chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “The PGA is delighted to sponsor England Golf’s Coach of the Year award, especially as many of our members play key roles in teaching the game to golfers of all abilities. These include beginners, enthusiastic club members looking to improve, as well as Ryder Cup stars, many of whom are coached by PGA professionals.”

Players 1st is one of the world’s leading player experience platforms, helping golf clubs grow their business through data. Chief executive officer Morten Bisgaard said: “Players 1st is proud to sponsor the Volunteer of the Year Award at the England Golf Awards. Volunteers are highly committed people who show a deep love of the game and they put a lot of hard work into ensuring consistent, high-quality player experiences that keep both guests and members happy.”

American Golf is Europe’s largest golf retailer. Director of marketing and communications Daniel Gathercole said: “We are delighted to support England Golf again. By acknowledging the fantastic contribution made by these clubs and by individuals, we encourage more people to follow in their footsteps.  I am really looking forward to hearing the stories behind this year’s winners and will be proud to present our award.”

SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. is a sports research business with a strong focus on golf.  Director Richard Payne said: “We are again delighted to sponsor the County of the Year Award and recognise the initiatives, hard work and dedication of those working to grow the game at a county level. We believe it is vital to tailor your service to your target market and it is fascinating to see how successful counties are adapting their strategy for growth based on market demands.”

The Golf Foundation is the charity responsible for helping more young people to enjoy the playing and personal benefits of golf. Chief executive officer Brendon Pyle said: “The Golf Foundation is delighted to be associated with the Young Ambassador Award as it works closely with England Golf to provide opportunities for young people to volunteer in golf.  Leadership and volunteering are key aspects of the Foundation’s drive to help youngsters develop Skills for Life through their involvement in golf.”

Derek Burridge Trophies is a leading trade price supplier of golf awards. Sales director Mark Burridge said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the golf community to recognise the outstanding winners and we are delighted to support the England Golf Awards. So much good work goes on within the industry and this evening brings everyone together.”



England Golf launch disability Championship


ENGLAND Golf will launch a disability championship for the first time in 2019 as part of its calendar of events.

Over the past two years, they have worked with the charity BALASA Golf to shape a national championship and it has been confirmed that they will take sole responsibility for this event from 2019.

This will be the first time that the England Golf championship programme has included a disability event and it underlines the organisation’s commitment to being customer focussed.

The championship will offer a competitive opportunity to golfers who are an important part of the game – and their views are being sought to shape the event.

Disabled golfers, both club members and non-members, are invited to complete a short survey about the type of event they would like. Email to receive the survey in an alternative format. The survey will run until January 15.

Jamie Blair, disability manager for England Golf, commented: “This a fantastic step forward and shows our commitment to providing for disabled people at all levels within our game.

“Offering an event that will be shaped by disabled golfers will allow us to ensure we provide a great experience and will cement this event within our championship programme.”

If you are a disabled person who would like to get into golf you can find out more  at or visit to find your local club or driving range which offers inclusive activity for disabled people

To find out more about existing disability golf events that you can get involved in visit


More women urged to get into golf

A SCHEME to encourage new women golfers to play more often and have fun on the course has been such a success that it is set to grow.

The Academy Away Days ran in three counties this season and attracted over 300 players, bringing them together for on-course outings to grow their confidence and to make new friends. Next year the scheme will run again in Hertfordshire,

Academy-Away-Days (1).jpgDurham and Cheshire and will also be extended to five new counties: Northumberland, Worcestershire, Suffolk, Devon and Hampshire.“It’s a great opportunity to learn to play with others who are at the same level,” said one of the players. “I was a little nervous about the overall day but the experience was good,” added another. “It’s given me the confidence to play on the course and improve,” said a third.

The Academy Away Days have been developed by England Golf as part of its commitment to growing the women and girls’ game. Only  15 per cent of club members are women and just one per cent are girls, but research shows there’s a huge appetite for playing the sport.

The scheme was pioneered in Hertfordshire where clubs realised they needed to support and retain women who had taken Get into golf beginner courses.

Outings are organised on par three and short courses and the players use a novel scoring system which focusses on rules and etiquette rather than the number of strokes taken.

So, over nine holes, the women complete a series of challenges such as successfully hitting the green in one shot, raking the bunker correctly and shaking hands on the final green when they had completed their game. Everyone tees off at the same time so there’s lots of opportunity to socialise afterwards and enjoy a glass of fizz.

The success of the scheme is highlighted by the results of a survey of women who took part this summer, which indicated that almost 60% have taken out some form of membership.

Lauren Spray, England Golf’s Women and Girls’ participation manager, commented: “The Academy Away Days have proved a great way for women to make friends, to build their confidence and to have fun while they improve their skills and keep playing golf.

“The feedback from the players has been so positive and I’m looking forward to seeing even greater success as it grows into the new counties.”

England Golf has also piloted the Sunday Slam this year for women aged 18-35 and the concept will be further tested next season.


The Sunday Slam offered a series of monthly stablefords to women who may only be able to play at the weekend and want to get together with other women of a similar age for competitive yet social golf.

Events were held at Breadsall Priory in Derbyshire, Belton Park in Lincolnshire, Radcliffe on Trent in Nottinghamshire and The Leicestershire .

Clubs cash in on England Golf deal


SHAKE ON IT: Iain Lancaster (centre) with GMG directors David Valentine (left) and Scott Partington

ENGLAND Golf has partnered with the Golf Management Group (GMG) to help golf clubs cut costs without compromising on quality.

Clubs affiliated to England Golf will receive free GMG membership for a year – usually £149 – which could help them make savings of more than £10,000.

GMG is the second organisation to join England Golf’s new Preferred Partners and Supplier network. This is designed to give clubs access to a range of high quality products and services and, as it develops, will offer increasing value to England Golf’s club support package.

Iain Lancaster, England Golf Club engagement manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome GMG to our developing network and to increase the support we are able to offer clubs to help them grow.

“I am looking forward to announcing more partnerships over the coming months to further demonstrate our commitment in this area.”

GMG is a purchasing alliance, created in 2010 by experienced golf club operators, which sets out to increase profitability for independent clubs across the UK. It uses its collective purchasing power to get significant discounts without compromising on quality or service.

Memberships gives access to teams of experts who look at a club’s expenditure and report back on potential savings in key areas such as energy, insurance and food and beverage.

To complement the procurement benefits GMG members also have access to Contracts-Manager,  an online tool designed to manage all service and utilities contracts. The system will prompt clubs at critical dates when they might wish to look for more competitive arrangements.

Savings will vary depending on the areas each club chooses to review. But GMG would expect that clubs which engage with its top six performing categories would cut costs by over £10,000.

Scott Partington, from GMG. said: “”We are very excited about the partnership with England Golf, it endorses everything we have been doing over the last seven years and will provide significant leverage when negotiating with our supply chain, which should see golf clubs making even greater savings.

“The complimentary membership for affiliated clubs removes any barriers to try our service and we look forward to adding to our current membership of over 550 clubs.”

GMG have joined the XACT group in the Preferred Partners network. XACT provide golf clubs with health and safety and human resources support.


Revealed – secrets of retaining club members

retentionpr (2).jpg

THE secrets of keeping golf club members happy, contented and loyal are revealed in new report commissioned by England Golf: Valuing Your Customers.  The findings, from Manchester Metropolitan University, will be used to help golf clubs strengthen their business by retaining their members.

They’ll be shared by England Golf’s club support network, together with a specially produced video and other resources which will help clubs identify and provide the golfing experience their members want.

The report makes the point that it costs less to retain a member than to attract a new one and it highlights six ways to keep members happy:

Offer enjoyment and engagement

Provide a unique ethos and atmosphere 

Create a great customer experience from the car park to the bar

A warm welcome which extends far beyond a ‘meet and greet’

 Participation options for all, from novice to experienced player

 Ways to keep members involved long-term

It also offers ideas for clubs to consider which will customise their approach to members. These could include becoming a female-friendly club or offering alternative formats which could be welcomed by beginners, older players and those who are short of time.

Report author Dr Chris Mackintosh said: “Members are the lifeblood of any club and retention really matters. The evidence says that if golf clubs can be more diverse, more open and embrace a friendly culture more people will stay in the game and we will grow the sport.”

Abbie Lench, England Golf’s Head of Club Support, added: “We want to show clubs how to understand and to value their customers and build a healthy base of loyal members.”

She added: “There’s another great benefit because we find that clubs which have an excellent relationship with existing members, will improve their reputation and find it easier to recruit new players.”

England Golf is now working in partnership with MMU on a three-year research project to better understand volunteers in clubs and the critical role they play in retention.


Kettering Golf Club in Northamptonshire is where Charley Hull learned her golf and is now an honorary member.  It recognised its strength was as a members’ club and made this a priority, offering relaxed enjoyment and companionship.

The club has worked on retention programmes with David Davis, the England Golf Club Support Officer in Northamptonshire, and they’ve been so successful that they remain financially secure, have enhanced their reputation and grown their membership by over 8% in two years, lowering the overall age of the membership in the process.

Club chairman Graham Althorpe commented: “New members are important, but for us, our best recruiting sergeant is retaining existing members who are pleased with and want to be part of the whole Kettering Golf Club experience.”


Northamptonshire County Golf Club has also worked with David Davis and, after considering the demographic of its ageing membership, has put in place a long-term strategy for retention and recruitment. This has included halving the joining fee which helped to increase membership by almost six percent from 2015-2017.

Club manager Elaine McBride commented: “We ensure that we are constantly being proactive by engaging with existing members and increasing our PR presence in the local golfing community.

“For example, we can now analyse members’ bar spending and this means we can engage with members who have not have used the facilities recently. It’s a good way to gain a better understanding of factors that impact on people visiting and using the club.”

The new retention guidance has been produced as part of England Golf’s strategy, Growing the Game of Golf in England, which has the customer at its heart.

Visit to read the research findings and view the video.


Just champion! That’s Accrington’s Foster

ACCRINGTON legend  Trevor Foster went on a victory march today to win the English Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions tournament at Woodhall Spa.

Foster was eight under par for 36 holes, after yesterday’s two-under 71 and today’s

foster (1).jpg67 on the Hotchkin course. He finished eight shots clear of his closest challenger, David Nelson of Cheshire.

He was a man on a mission because his season’s results had seen him fall just short of a place in the England senior team and he wanted to use his last event of the season to show what he could do.

Foster, 57, has already had a remarkable golfing career, including 108 appearances for Lancashire; two men’s county championships and now the senior men’s titleholder. He played all four rounds of The Open in 1988, when his caddy was 14-year-old Ryan Done, now the PGA professional at Heysham and Foster’s coach.

But he’s got that one ambition left, to represent his country. “My daughter, Nikki, played in four Home Internationals and she gives me a little nudge, saying I haven’t played for England yet! It would be nice, it would finish my career off. Hopefully next year it will be a dream come true.”

For the time being he has the satisfaction of two great days of golf. “It has given me so much pleasure out there today to hit every fairway and to hit 17 greens in regulation,” he said.

His first round gave him a one-shot lead over Hampshire’s Richard Elmes (Stoneham) with David Nelson (Northenden) and NAPGC/Worcestershire’s Steve Green (Rose Hill) a further stroke back.

But today Foster put his foot down and simply powered away from the field. He was four under on the front nine, then added two more birdies on 13 and 14 before dropping his only stroke of the day on the 17th, where he found a fairway bunker. However, he immediately repaired the damage with a pitch and putt birdie on the last.

“I’ve been fully-focussed, I’ve been 100 per cent satisfied before I hit any shots,” said Foster, who was supported by his caddy and Lancashire team mate, Bill Bromilow.

He also reaped the benefit of a recent lesson with putting guru Mike Kanski, provided by the Lancashire Golf Union. “I’ve struggled with my putting all year, which has cost me,” said Foster. “I’ve got to thank Lancashire because they’ve backed me all the way and asked me to have a lesson on my putting.”

Bel of the ball!


PRESTBURY teenager Bel Wardle came from six shots behind to birdie her way to a one-stroke victory in the English women’s open stroke play championship at Woodhall Spa.

She fired a closing six-under 67 on the Hotchkin course, finishing three-under par for the 72 hole event and a shot ahead of Dulcie Sverdloff of Essex.

Both players charged home and both birdied the last two holes, but it was Wardle who had the edge and adds her name a trophy previously held by Solheim Cup players Charley Hull, Jodi Ewart and Sale’s Joanne Morley.

“I wanted to win this so much, I can’t believe it,” said the 17-year-old.

It’s her second win in three weeks, after she produced a top class performance to claim the English girls’ title in gale force winds – and proved to herself that she could cross the winning line.

That confidence stood her in good stead this week. At the halfway stage she was two off the lead, but after the third round she’d slipped further back after returning five-over 78.

Wardle had struggled with her putting while Yorkshire’s Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall) fashioned a bogey-free 67 and Sverdloff (Thorpe Hall) returned 69 to share the lead on three-under with a round to play.

Wardle wasn’t phased. She sorted out her putting at lunchtime and went out again this afternoon thinking: “Anything can happen on this golf course and there’s a lot of pressure on the leaders.

“I knew I had to shoot under par and I just stuck to hitting fairways and greens and tried to make sure I was on the right side of the holes and always had uphill putts.”

She was two-under on front nine and then started her charge by holing a 25ft birdie putt on the 13th. She reached the long 14th in two shots to set up a two-putt birdie. A monster drive on 17 was rewarded with a classy pitch and putt for another birdie to draw level with Sverdloff, who has just finished on two-under.

Wardle knew she had to birdie the last to win and set about achieving it – despite having a tree on her line on her second shot. Her seven iron shot soared over the obstacle and finished within chipping distance of the green, from where she calmly got up and down to post an unbeatable score. “I was really going for that birdie,” she said afterwards.

Third place went to Austria’s Isabella Holpfer, who had shared the halfway lead on four-under and who was only one shot off the pace at the start of the final round.

She took the lead during the last round but slipped out of the reckoning with a bogey on the long 14th and went on to finish on level par.

Meanwhile Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) returned her best score of the week with a bogey-free 69 to share fourth place with fellow international Rochelle Morris on one-over.