England Golf joined a celebration of golf when the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group held its inaugural annual dinner in the Palace of Westminster.
The golfing community was widely represented at the event and Nick Pink, England Golf Chief Executive, commented: “It’s good to have Parliamentarians talking about the benefits of golf, to be finding out what we do and how they can help us.”
Group Co-Chairman, Karl McCartney MP, reflected on the Group’s first year of activity and said: "One thing that has become clear since we formed the Group is the huge support for the sport across the UK, and we are delighted to have the support of so many of the various bodies that represent different elements of the sport.
“The Group’s initial focus has been on increasing participation, particularly amongst women and BME groups, and also on improving perceptions of the sport, and I hope that we can continue to be an active voice for the sport in Westminster, Whitehall and beyond.”
The Group’s inaugural Parliamentary Golfer of the Year award was announced by as Andrew Bingham MP. He organised his own golf challenge in July this year, in which he played nine holes of golf on each of the seven courses in his High Peak constituency, raising over £6500 for four Mountain Rescue teams in the process.
Andrew has also been a vocal advocate of the 9-hole version of the game, and particularly England Golf’s Golf Express initiative, which promotes 9-hole golf to inspire busy people to play more often.
The evening’s guest speaker was Ken Schofield CBE, former European Tour Executive Director and a past President of the Golf Foundation. He gave his thoughts on the state of the game, and also discussed the work of the Golf Foundation and its work to help more young people enjoy golf and the many benefits it brings. The evening raised over £4500 for the Golf Foundation.
The dinner was hosted by Group Vice-Chairman, Baroness Nye of Lambeth, on the House of Lords terrace, and brought together Members of both Houses of Parliament, Associate Members, Group supporters and dinner sponsors, Covéa Insurance. The Group was established in 2015, and has since grown to over 60 Members from both Houses and across all major parties.