Yorkshire golfer Jenny Davies, who devotes countless hours to junior golf, has been honoured with England Golf’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
Jenny, the junior organiser at Bondhay Golf Club, was presented with the award at last night’s England Golf Awards at Lord’s. The runner-up was Simon Bacon of Radcliffe-on-Trent Golf Club, Nottinghamshire.
The Awards shone the spotlight on great moments and achievement at all levels of English golf and Jenny was honoured 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.
“I’m part of a phenomenal team and I’m accepting this for all volunteers,” said Jenny, who is featured in a specially filmed video. “It’s the strength of volunteers which makes golf such a great sport.”
Jenny was a founder member when Bondhay opened 25 years ago and, although she likes to keep a low profile, she volunteers widely in the club and is also the vice-chairman.
Her passion is for the junior section, which she revived four years ago, using her skills from a 40-year career as a PE teacher – and her enthusiasm for family golf. When Jenny first joined the club she involved her daughters, Jo and Becky; now Becky and her husband, Justin, are the club professionals and closely involved with the juniors.
Jenny’s enthusiasm, coupled with support from other members, has created a section which has about 30 members playing on the main course and a flourishing group of beginners on the par three course.
“There’s so much satisfaction is seeing the development of skills and also the growing confidence and ability to mix with people. It’s fantastic to be able to witness that,” said Jenny.
The youngsters get excellent opportunities, both at home and away. Masters champion Danny Willett was a member of the club as a junior and has worked with Bondhay and two other local clubs to run Wee Willetts, offering a par three golf tour to youngsters without handicaps. Willett attends an annual presentation, most recently turning up in his green jacket and accompanied by Sky, BBC and ITV – to the delight of the youngsters. Bondhay is also one of six Dukeries clubs which play off in a competition for juniors with handicaps.
At home, one of the highlights of the year is Junior Week, featuring five days of competition, with each main course event mirrored on the par three course.
But Jenny doesn’t just focus on the juniors – she introduces their parents to golf as well and provides time for the adults to play at the end of junior competitions.
Bonday Ladies’ Captain Pat Crabtree sums up: “She’s wonderful, it’s not just the juniors, it’s the whole club.”
Jenny Davies receives her award from England Golf Chairman Graham Yates (Image © Leaderboard Photography).