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Learn about the people on our board

England Golf’s board is responsible for the governance and overall management of the organisation.

The board membership reflects a diverse combination of demographics, skills, experience and personal attributes which support good decision-making.

The Nominations Committee is responsible for overseeing the appointment of directors.

Three of the board are appointed independent directors and eight are elected directors. In addition the chief executive sits on the board. The company secretary and finance director also attend board meetings as does the England Golf president.

The board meets 4-5 times a year. It also has sub-committees to scrutinise detailed aspects of England Golf’s work. These include an Audit & Finance Committee and a Governance Committee.

Nic Coward, Chairman, 2018

Nic Coward, Chairman

Nic Coward is the first independent chairman of England Golf and brings a huge amount of experience gained in a 20-year career at the top levels of British sport.

Nic has been the general secretary of the Premier League, the chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, joint chief executive of the Football Association and a director of Wembley Stadium. He has been a non-executive director of the FA, was treasurer of the CCPR (now the Sport and Recreation Alliance) and first chair of the global Sports Rights Owners Coalition.

He consults to a number of sports and entertainment businesses across the world.

 

Martha Brass, Senior Independent Director

Martha joined England Golf in 2017 with 30 years’ experience in the media and consumer goods sector. She has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from INSEAD.

Martha held senior roles in the media before becoming CEO of International Operations at Endemol Shine Group, responsible for the group’s production companies across Australia, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. Martha has also been on the board of Israeli broadcaster Reshet Media and women’s sport charity Women Win.

Martha is a member of Guildford Golf Club and enjoys cycling, volleyball, skiing, and swimming.

 

Michael Pask, Independent Non-Executive Director

Michael is an experienced leader in sports, media and entertainment. Before joining England Golf, he was the Senior Vice President at WME IMG. He worked in golf events and built up the academy internationally alongside its golf course design, resort management and advisory businesses.

Michael created an Olympic representation business that managed Sir Steve Redgrave, Michael Johnson and Dame Katherine Grainger.

Michael has a first-class honours degree from St. Andrews University. He participated in an 11-month cycling expedition in the Andes for Leukaemia Research. You’ll find Michael at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, playing off +1.

Carol Alford, Non-Executive Director

Carol brings a variety of skills to the board of England Golf. She lives in Staffordshire with her golfing family, where she’s an entrepreneur and mental toughness coach.

Carol has worked as a chartered civil engineer and IT program manager. She uses her extensive knowledge to help inform England Golf’s digital strategy project. Carol is also a director of Woodhall Spa Golf Management.

Carol has experience at all levels of golf, from grass roots to elite performance. She has been a voting member for Staffordshire and chair of the county development group.

Alistair Booth, Non-Executive Director

Alistair is a semi-retired businessman, who chairs the England Golf Club Managers’ Advisory Group and sits on the Audit and Finance Committee.

He took Business Studies at the University of Hull, then owned a consumer electronics business for 15 years. In 2009 he joined the board of Frilford Heath Golf Club, where he’s been a member since 1994. He became Executive Director in 2010 and Executive Chairman in 2016.

Alistair is President of BB&O, independent chair of the Greenkeepers Training Committee, on the board of UKGCOA and an associate member of the Parliamentary Golf Group.

Phillipa Cook, Non-Executive Director

Phillipa joined the board in 2019, having been closely involved in county golf in Buckinghamshire for 16 years. She has undertaken a wide range of roles, including those of county captain, website administrator, lead course rater and Voting Member.

She took up golf as a 12-year-old, although the sport initially took second place to dinghy racing, which involved her at national level.

Phillipa’s professional life was mainly spent in accountancy while her volunteer activities, apart from golf, include sitting as a JP and serving as secretary of her parochial church council. She is a member of Woburn Golf Club, where she has been ladies’ captain.

Jill Dean, Non-Executive Director

Jill became a board member in 2016 and chairs the Governance Committee. After taking a degree at Hull University, Jill went on to study law. She became a partner of a provincial practice before setting up her own partnership in 1991. Jill grew the company into a successful LLP and sold it in 2010.

Sport has always been a large part of Jill’s life. She has been women’s captain and director of Temple Golf Club and a voting member for Berkshire. Jill is also a governor of a local school, a churchwarden, and lay chair of the executive of a group of local churches.

 

Doug Poole, Non-Executive Director

Doug became a board member in 2017, having served as a board member with the Professional Golfers’ Association, Golf Foundation, and British Golf Industry Association where he was chairman for four years. He is also chairman of Stonecheck, a property development company.

As Director of Golf for British Airways he managed the airline’s golfing developments, including specialist golf holidays and corporate golf travel. He owned a company selling specialist golf travel and running corporate events. And as the franchise owner of Golfsmith Europe he distributed brands including Lynx, MacGregor, Greg Norman across Europe.

Doug is a keen player, with a handicap of 5.

Kevin Tucker, Non-Executive Director

Kevin joined the board in 2019, continuing an England connection that began 45 years ago when, as a scratch player, he was selected for a regional training squad.

More recent involvement has seen him chair the England men’s selectors and take on the role of England men’s squad manager and team captain, notably at the 2017 World Amateur Team Championship when England were silver medallists.

Kevin is an honorary member at Saltburn-by-the Sea, which he joined 50 years ago, and he is the 2019 Yorkshire President.

Kevin and his wife, Liz, ran their own successful property company for 35 years.

Ian Watkins, Non-Executive Director

Ian is a member of the Governance Committee, chair of the championship working group and a trustee of the England Golf Trust.

Ian spent 10 years in the police before becoming a marketing, sales and business development director in the insurance industry. He was also senior administrator and corporate trustee of multi-million-pound final salary pension schemes.

He is co-chair of the Gloucestershire Golf Partnership and President of the Gloucestershire Golf Union.  Ian has been a qualified golf referee since 2002.

Les Wilson

Les was first involved at director level nearly 40 years ago, when he was founding director of a software house specialising in IBM mid-range computer systems. In 1984, Les founded the business where he is still chairman today. It now specialises in document management and workflow system implementation and maintenance.

Les first got involved with golf administration at his home club of Greenmount in the late 80s. He then became junior organiser for the BDGA. In 1999, Les joined the executive of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and became President in 2012. He was also appointed the LUGC voting member in 2010 and elected to the board in 2014.