The nominees have today been announced for the England Golf Awards 2021 sponsored by adidas Golf.
This year’s virtual ceremony – hosted by broadcaster, journalist and avid golfer Naga Munchetty – will take place on Thursday 3 June from 6.30pm and be broadcast live on England Golf’s YouTube channel.
Nominations were invited from the public for six of the seven categories.
An expert panel of judges made up of England Golf staff as well as industry and media colleagues then had the unenviable task of narrowing down the list of potential winners from an outstanding long list of nominations.
The following nominees have been shortlisted in each category:
Club of The Year
Bush Hill Park Golf Club (Middlesex) – for outstanding work connecting with existing members, engaging with new members and championing women in golf.
Dunnerholme Golf Club (Cumbria) – a small club with a dedicated band of volunteers and staff who saw the pandemic as a challenge to improve facilities and boost participation among juniors.
The Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club (Nottinghamshire) – a club which threw open its doors to NHS staff and key workers at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.
Stanedge Golf Club (Derbyshire) – a club which has undergone a remarkable transformation in fortunes and now lies at the heart of the local community.
County of the Year
Cornwall – a small county showing outstanding levels of communication and engagement during pandemic year.
Gloucestershire – a county with a strong affiliation to players of all abilities which was strengthened during lockdown with online coaching and social events.
Lancashire – a county whose ‘Bounceback’ initiatives helped clubs cope with the worst economic effects of COVID-19.
Lincolnshire – a county which showed outstanding levels of commitment to develop the game, particularly among juniors, women and newcomers to the sport.
Performance of the Year
Annabell Fuller (Surrey) – English Women’s Open Stroke Play Champion and runner up in both the Women’s British Amateur and the Swiss Women’s International.
Charlotte Heath (Yorkshire) – Australian Women’s Amateur Champion.
Joe Long (Gloucestershire) – British Amateur Champion.
Ben Schmidt (Yorkshire) – New South Wales Amateur Champion and runner-up in Avondale Amateur and Tillman Trophy.
Burnley Golf Club (Lancashire) – a club with a strong identity, a sustainable five-year plan and one that has re-developed its clubhouse to provide a welcoming and inclusive facility for new and existing members.
Chester Golf Club (Cheshire) – on-course work over lockdown helped develop wildflower areas, bug hotels, natural grasslands and wildlife habitats, while a new link with Chester Zoo on tree maintenance drove ecological improvements.
Golf at Goodwood (Sussex) – a sustainability committee, long-term ecology plan and close ties with the local flora organisation, beekeepers’ association and forestry agencies ensured the club took a lead on environmental matters.
Whitsand Bay Golf Club (Cornwall) – a club which has taken an economically viable and environmentally sustainable approach to golf course management in order to restore the course’s natural beauty and attract new members.
Volunteer of the Year
Niamh Cripps (Broome Manor Golf Club, Wiltshire) – the teenager didn’t let her scoliosis diagnosis in 2020 prevent her from inspiring fellow juniors and joining the ladies’ committee to give a young person’s perspective on club life.
Owen Evans and Keith Thomas (Chester Golf Club, Cheshire) – despite their joint role as honorary secretaries being on a volunteer basis, both men put in 50-hour weeks to help the club survive the pandemic.
Louise FitzRoy-Stone (Rowlands Castle Golf Club, Hampshire) – from organising club events, flower deliveries and cycling visits to isolated members, Louise kept golfers connected and in high spirits.
Barry Sears (Faversham Golf Club, Kent) – a junior organiser who put his own injury issues to one side to drive junior golf at club, school and county level.
Anthony Bridgeman (The Belfry, Warwickshire) – an inspirational young man who didn’t let challenges with autism and dyspraxia stop him promoting junior and disability golf.
Niamh Cripps (Broome Manor Golf Club, Wiltshire) – by acting as a coaching assistant at junior sessions and as a role model for beginner golfers, Niamh’s energy and engaging personality made her an invaluable asset to her club
Thomas Roca (Chartridge Park Golf Club, BB&O) – the student’s selfless work in all areas of golf club life helped his club survive the pandemic and maintain a crucial connection with its junior section.
Lily Walker (North Hants Golf Club, Hampshire) – an inspirational leader for junior golf who serves as junior captain, county girls’ captain and club committee member as well as organiser of events and charity fundraisers.
The ceremony will come to a climax with the Lifetime Service Award given to an individual who has contributed significantly to English amateur golf over many years of dedicated service.
Commenting on the unveiling of the nominees, Jeremy Tomlinson, England Golf CEO, said: “It was a real pleasure to read the fantastic stories of all those individuals, clubs and counties put forward for recognition.
“To see such levels of passion, creativity and dedication being shown by so many from our golfing community is truly inspirational.
“These tales deserve to be told and the winners rightly acclaimed for their outstanding efforts.
“I look forward to an amazing awards night when we can pay tribute to the people and organisations who made a stunning and lasting contribution to our great game during an incredibly testing year.”
The virtual awards ceremony is open to all viewers and will be broadcast free from 6.30pm on Thursday 3 June on the England Golf YouTube channel.
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