It was a pleasure to be once again invited to The Golf Foundation Awards at Wentworth last Wednesday during the BMW PGA Championship to hear about the excellent work done to promote golf and the life skills it has to offer to young people in the UK.
We've been playing a small part in supporting The Golf Foundation since we launched ETIQUS as getting more youngsters into golf is something that is dear to me. It was also quite timely to see a report in the national press over the weekend by Macmillan Cancer Charity that golf 'is a superb form of exercise' with a 'five year increase in life expectancy' - so getting them started early seems appropriate.
Of the 10 awards I've picked out just three from Geoff Russell's write-up in Golf Business News for this post that I'd like to draw your attention to.
The Gus Payne Award is given to the Golf Club that raises the most money in the year. Given that ETIQUS is now a partner of England Golf and that we are sponsoring the England Golf Captains events this year I thought it opportune to highlight the efforts of Phil Tiddy of Enfield Golf Club with The Golf Foundation as his Captain's Charity. If you are a Golf Captain and yet to decide which charity will be your charitable beneficiary then perhaps The Golf Foundation could be a good choice for you.
The second award is The Sinclair Award given to the PGA Pro who has made the most impact in their work with Junior golf. We've always tried to support the Club professional who are far below in ranking and reward to the well know Tour Pros earning their millions at the top echelons of the sport.
Lastly we are pleased to support the prestigious Sir Henry Cotton award for service to golf over a sustained period.
So congratulations to all of the worthy winners - keep up the good work!
If golf is to have a healthy future, it needs far more youngsters getting away from their laptop screens and out onto the golf course and they should be welcomed with open arms by any golf club.
The Gus Payne Award
Presented to the golf club that donates the most amount of money in support of the Golf Foundation’s activities.
WINNER: Enfield Golf Club and Captain Phil Tiddy for their generous contribution of just under £9,000 raised by adopting the Golf Foundation as the Captain’s Charity.
In his Captain’s year Phil Tiddy was keen to back the Foundation and to do so he ran a variety of activities over the course of the year but perhaps the highlight was attracting Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston to play in a Pro-Am hosted at his golf club, which raised more than £3,000. Phil and his team communicated with the members to raise funds and this good work brought a further focus to an already thriving junior section.
Foundation CEO Brendon Pyle said: “Phil was supported by a large group of people at the golf club including his wife and fellow junior organiser, Kathryn. He is passionate about golf and helping young people, and hopefully his example can inspire more club captains to think of the Golf Foundation as one of their nominated charities.”
The Sinclair Award
Presented to a PGA Professional who, as a direct result of his/her efforts, has made a significant impact in the development of grass roots junior golf (ETIQUS golfer’s watch kindly donated by Gary Butler as prize).
WINNER: Matt Edgar from Horton Park Golf Club in Surrey for engaging with many young people to develop a thriving junior section.
Matt has transformed the junior section since his arrival by embracing Golf Foundation initiatives, working with a variety of school and community partners, and making the junior programme fun, inclusive and child-centred.
He works with Fulham Football Foundation to introduce more children with disabilities to golf and runs two girls-only sessions each week.
Matt delivers Tri-Golf teacher training workshops for local schools and 150 juniors receive coaching at the golf club each week. His Skills for Life coaching gives children the best chance to succeed not only in their golf but also through improved confidence. Some 48 juniors have joined the club in the last year. Golf course owner, Richard Haygarth, says of Matt: “This coach is every golf course owner’s dream.”
The Sir Henry Cotton Award
Presented to an individual who has demonstrated meritorious service to junior golf for a sustained period. The winner of this award receives a grant kindly provided by the Stanley Morrison Charitable Trust and an ETIQUS golfer’s watch kindly donated by Gary Butler.
WINNER: David Franklin who has encouraged and supported youngsters at Epsom Golf Club in Surrey since 2002.
Back in the early 2000’s David Frankin read about the Golf Foundation’s club learning programme, the Junior Golf Passport, and persuaded the club PGA Pro to adopt the fun initiative. For the first time in its 100-year history, the club started structured coaching.
In addition, David saw that the Golf Foundation’s Tri-Golf programme was ideal for taking golf into primary schools in the area surrounding the golf club and since 2003, Tri-Golf sessions in 11 local schools have reached 4,000 children. Furthermore, he was one of the first organisers in the country to run a Tri-Golf festival, bringing hundreds of pupils from local schools to the golf club, now an annual event on the club calendar.
This pathway to the golf club and the warm welcome the children receive has led to Epsom GC becoming a force for junior golf (more than 100 junior members at present) and at the age of 80 David still regularly attends junior committee meetings.
Foundation CEO Brendon Pyle said: “It is fitting that we should end today’s awards with a celebration of a volunteer who has embraced the aspirations of Sir Henry Cotton and the work of the Golf Foundation. We could not have a better recipient for this award.”
David Franklin said: “I am really pleased and honoured to be recognised in this way but this couldn’t have been done by one person. I am privileged to have had a great team around me right from the time we decided to reach out to more youngsters and welcome them to the club, and we are all delighted that Epsom Golf Club has such a strong relationship with schools and the community.”
For a full write up of all 10 awards read this article on Golf Business News