Bawburgh Golf Club, near Norwich, has won the GolfMark Club of the Year Award 2012, supported by COBRA-PUMA GOLF.
The award, introduced four years ago by the English Golf Union and English Women’s Golf Association, recognises clubs which make an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf.
Bawburgh’s success was announced at the England Golf Partnership’s County Golf Development Conference on 21st February at Woodhall Spa. The conference also applauded the two runners-up, Marriott Tudor Park Golf & Country Club in Kent and Addington Court Golf Club in Surrey.
Robert Barnard, managing director of Bawburgh Golf Club, said: “I am over the moon, the competition was very strong and we didn’t expect to win. This is just great for the club and all our team – and now we’ve got to keep going forward.”
Bawburgh was first awarded GolfMark in October 2007 and now has High Achiever status. It aims to offer opportunities to all, from novice to regular golfer, and recently opened a new driving range, the Norwich Family Golf Centre, which completed a £2million investment in the complex.
Over the past three years the club has made alterations and improvements to its 18-hole course, built a new par-36 nine-hole course and now completed the new centre, which includes a golf shop, 24-bay driving range, café and sports bar.
The team at the club, led by Robert and his wife Jo, demonstrate a willingness to adapt and try new ideas, with awareness of what their customers want. They offer flexible membership packages to suit all types of golfer, a relaxed environment for non-members and members alike and a range of coaching opportunities, led by PGA professionals Mark Spooner and Peter Bower. The club also has a strong working relationship with the Norfolk County Golf Partnership and links with the sports academy at Easton College.
Presenting the award, Ian Barrett, EMEA Marketing Manager for COBRA PUMA GOLF, said: “COBRA PUMA GOLF is delighted to help recognise the outstanding efforts of those who have worked so hard at Bawburgh Golf Club to win this award.
“Our approach to golf is about making the game more inclusive and fun for golfers of all abilities, attitudes and styles and Bawburgh echo this by enhancing golf participation within their community. COBRA PUMA GOLF is proud to continue its support for GolfMark as a leader in the development of beginner-friendly facilities.”
COBRA-PUMA GOLF is supporting the GolfMark award scheme for the second year running, with prizes for the Club of the Year award and quarterly and annual prize draws.
Richard Flint, Golf Development Manager for the English Golf Union and English Women’s Golf Association, commented “We are delighted that COBRA PUMA GOLF continues to support this prestigious award which highlights very proactive, professionally run golf clubs, such as Bawburgh.
“Golf clubs have to be more creative and business-focused to meet the changing golfing landscape and GolfMark can support them in developing structures and promoting their facilities and opportunities.”
Contenders for the award were nominated by their County Golf Partnerships and a shortlist was drawn up by a panel of England Golf Partnership (EGP) representatives. Individual visits were made to the final three clubs to determine the winner.
Any affiliated golf club can apply to work through the GolfMark process and achieve the accreditation, by visiting www.golfmark.org There are currently 535 golf clubs with GolfMark and a further 561 working towards accreditation.
GolfMark is an EGP initiative which is part of its ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and an integral part of its vision to ‘Grow the Game’.
Picture shows right to left: Robert Barnard and Jo Barnard, Bawburgh Golf Club and Ian Barrett, COBRA PUMA GOLF.