Lancashire’s fantastic support for its clubs and players has won the England Golf County of the Year Award.
The county was honoured at last night’s 2017 England Golf Awards at Lord’s and will receive £6000 worth of bespoke research from award sponsors SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. The runner-up was Warwickshire.
The Awards shone the spotlight on great moments and achievement at all levels of English golf and Lancashire was recognised alongside Olympic champion Justin Rose, Masters champion Danny Willett and Solheim Cup player Charley Hull, as well as other players and heroes from the grass roots game.
The audience of over 400 guests from across the golf industry heard how the Lancashire county golf organisations work in partnership to grow the game.
They put the needs of players and the 158 clubs and facilities at the heart of everything they do and have been rewarded with a 4.3% increase in membership, with particular growth among men and girls.
“This is a huge pat on the back for everyone who has contributed to the initiatives and it validates the work we are doing,” said Phil Harvey, secretary of both the Lancashire Golf Union and the county development group. “It’s great for clubs, for county development officers, for volunteers, for everyone involved.”
He added: “The prize will help us to do more good work and it ties in superbly with what we want to do.”
The county – one of the biggest in England – kick-started its success three years ago with the launch of the Lancashire Golf Union’s development plan. This was followed by the creation of a county development group, with England Golf officers working alongside the union, the ladies’ association and other partners.
The emphasis has been on motivating clubs to be more business-like and to support them with access to planning advice and resources; to encourage new ideas and innovation; and great communications.
Phil Harvey added: “What pleases me most is that the clubs feel much closer to the county, they feel that the county is there for them, to support them. Everyone feels that we are all pulling together to help each other.”
His satisfaction at winning the award was echoed by Debbie Barber, one of England Golf’s county development officers, who said: “Winning the coveted title of best county means the world to us all and what has been achieved the length and breadth of Lancashire has given us a real buzz.”
Lancashire representatives receive their award from Richard Payne of SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC (Image © Leaderboard Photography).