A 23-year-old club captain, two volunteer coaches and a golfing ambassador are the four inspirational finalists for the England Golf’s Young Ambassador of the Year Award, presented in association with the Golf Foundation.
They are: Megan Field and Jess Pinnell, both volunteer coaches at Hatchford Brook Golf Centre in Sheldon, Birmingham; Liam Ridgill, club captain of Drax Golf Club near Selby, North Yorkshire; and golfing ambassador Georgina Wrixon of Ashley Wood Golf Club, Blandford Forum, Dorset.
Their remarkable achievements to support other golfers and to grow the game will be highlighted when the winner is announced at the England Golf Awards 2018 at the Royal Lancaster London on Thursday 22 February.
England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink commented: “These four inspirational young people are quite amazing. They are sharing their pleasure in golf in the best possible way and are helping us to spread the message that golf is a great game for all.”
Join us to celebrate these and the finalists for eight more categories, by clicking here to book tickets for the Awards dinner. Tickets are just £85 each and include drinks on arrival and a three-course dinner with half a bottle of wine per person.
The four Young Ambassador of the Year Award finalists:
Megan Field, 18, of Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, Sheldon, Birmingham
Megan began her involvement at the junior academies run by PGA professional Aaron Lansberry as a work placement – and enjoyed it so much that she continued volunteering and wants to become a junior coach. She gives up hundreds of hours and balances her interest alongside her own college and study commitments.
“The kids really enjoy working with Megan as they can relate to someone nearer to their age,” said Aaron. “Her ability to communicate with the children has greatly improved and she is more than happy to stand up in front of a group of children, with parents watching, and deliver an explanation and demonstration of the warm up games.”
He added: “She also talks to the boys and girls in the group about school, other sports clubs or whatever else they want to talk about. I find this is very valuable as it adds a new social dimension to my sessions.”
Jess Pinnell, 15, of Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, Sheldon, Birmingham
Jess took up golf a year ago and in that time has both developed her own skills and become a key volunteer at the junior golf academies run by PGA professional Aaron Lansberry.
“She started as a complete beginner, quickly progressed with her golf and wanted to get more involved with what we do,” said Aaron.
Jess helps at eight group lessons each week and also attended every day camp held during the school summer holidays. She doesn’t take her own coaching session until the end of a full day of volunteering!
In total she has given up hundreds of hours over the past year to helping youngsters and has impressed Aaron with her involvement and confidence, the way she uses banter to put the players at ease – and her own willingness to learn.
He commented: “At the rate Jess is improving her coaching, she will no doubt be better than me soon!”
Liam Ridgill, 23, of Drax Golf Club, near Selby, north Yorkshire
Liam has just taken over as the youngest-ever captain at Drax Golf Club, where he’s bowled over the members and officials with his ‘can do’ mentality.
He joined the club as a 12-year-old – and has been junior captain – and went on the main committee three years ago, taking on responsibility for marketing.
He’s transformed the website and used it, together with social media, to promote the club. He’s also played a key role in attracting new members, particularly students and intermediates, and in launching open competitions which showcase the course. One of his latest projects is to improve the course signage.
Club secretary Matthew Forde commented: “I see at first hand the amount of work Liam puts in for the club, he is an invaluable member of the team.”
Alan Palmer, 2017 senior captain, added: “For someone so young to be voted as 2018 captain reflects how well liked and respected he is.”
Georgina Wrixon, 18, of Ashley Wood Golf Club, Blandford Forum, Dorset
Georgina started playing golf when she was 14 and quickly became passionate about the game – and about encouraging new players, especially girls.
She represents Dorset and competes nationally, while also inspiring newcomers to the game as an ambassador for the Girls Golf Rocks campaign and for the charity, the England Golf Trust. She has trained as a Level One coach and supports PGA professionals at a number of local clubs. When she was junior captain Georgina raised enough money to install junior tees at her club, encouraging more youngsters to pay the full game.
Georgina is aiming for a career in golf and after very successful BTEC results is now studying for a degree in sports science specialising in golf.
“We are very proud of Georgina’s achievements and feel she deserves to be recognised for all the effort and passion she has for playing and promoting the game of golf,” said a nominator.