Six inspirational golf clubs are the latest finalists to be announced for the prestigious 2017 England Golf Awards.
The clubs, from Cornwall, Hertfordshire, Kent, Suffolk, Sussex and Yorkshire, will be on tenterhooks until the winners of the three categories are announced at a celebration ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Thursday, 16 March.
All six are stand-out examples of clubs which go the extra mile to give the best possible experience to members, visitors and potential new players. But the competition is particularly intense between the finalists in the Strongest Community Engagement Award, which are both operated by Mytime Active.
England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: “These six finalists are fantastic clubs which put their customers first and help to show that golf is a welcoming sport for all. We look forward to highlighting their great work at the England Golf Awards.”
The Awards will celebrate all that’s excellent about golf in England. They will recognise leading professionals, elite amateurs, top coaches and the stars of club and county golf who do so much to inspire people to play the game.
The latest finalists:
GolfMark Club of the Year sponsored by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Essendon Country Club, Hertfordshire
Essendon combines the best of golfing tradition with innovative approaches to offer a warm welcome. The club values and listens to its customers and offers great golf and social opportunities for members and non-members, including Pilates and yoga sessions. Busy adult and junior academies have a 100% conversion rate into membership via special introductory packages. The club uses GolfMark to measure progress and identify areas to improve and develop.
The Point at Polzeath, Cornwall
The club’s owners have used GolfMark to create a thriving business which bucks industry trends and they hope to double it in size over the next three years. The Point is both a golf club and a leisure hub for the local community and holidaymakers, offering facilities such as a health club and hosting the annual Polzeath Beer Festival, which is combined with get into golf activities. It was the Cornwall GolfMark Club of the Year for 2015.
Most Welcoming Golf Club, sponsored by american golf
Fynn Valley Golf Club, Suffolk
The club started 25 years ago, believing golf should be accessible to everyone and the bar has always been open to all, with no dress code. There’s a strong golfing and social programme, great coaching opportunities and an annual ‘give golf a go’ day aimed at families. New members receive a comprehensive welcome pack and plenty of help to settle in and find playing partners. Communication with staff, members and visitors is excellent.
Leeds Golf Centre, Yorkshire
A ‘welcome’ sign at the entrance, good signposting, no dress code – first impressions count at this golf centre and help to attract new players. New members are introduced to playing partners and surveyed regularly to make sure they’re enjoying their golf. Coaching for all, golfing and social events for members and non-members, an emphasis on short format golf – and an in-house sports rehab physio are all features of this club.
Strongest Community Engagement
Bromley Golf Centre, Kent
Bromley takes golf into the community, for example to schools and leisure centres, to attract people who had never thought of playing. This includes children, young adults, inactive over 60s, local residents with learning difficulties and those living with disabilities. Flexible dress codes and free club hire are other ways of removing barriers. It’s also the first branded Golf Express centre in the country, promoting shorter formats to busy people.
Hollingbury Park Golf Course, Sussex
Hollingbury Park thinks outside the box to find new ways to introduce local people to golf and its wellbeing benefits. For example, a Christmas open air cinema for families attracted 600 people who received information about children’s birthday parties, free golf taster sessions and other offers, which all had a good take-up. It takes part in local sports festivals, hosts an open week for all, and works with local schools, companies and organisations.
More finalists will be announced next week. The England Golf Awards are attracting influential names from the golf and sporting world and tickets cost just £75 per person; anyone booking a table of 10 will get one place free. Everyone attending will be entered in a free draw for prizes including tickets to The Open, a Middlesex Match Day at Lord's, the Ricoh Women's British Open and a fourball at Frilford Heath Golf Club. Click here to book.