The Point at Polzeath is England’s ‘Club of the Year’
The Point at Polzeath in Cornwall has been named England Golf’s ‘GolfMark Club of the Year’ at an award ceremony that also honoured Olympic champion Justin Rose, Masters champion Danny Willett and Solheim Cup player Charley Hull.
GolfMark is an England Golf initiative which supports clubs to achieve high standards, especially regarding engaging with the local community. The Point at Polzeath was the first Cornwall club to achieve GolfMark in its current form and it went on to become the county’s GolfMark Club of the Year for 2015, before capturing the national prize, sponsored by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. The runner-up was Essendon Country Club, Hertfordshire
“Winning this award means a huge amount to us and to the members,” said Jeremy Davies, who owns the club with his wife, Eva.
The club’s owners have used GolfMark to create a thriving business which bucks industry trends and they hope to double it in size over the next three years.
Over five years the owners have developed the club and grown the membership from around 40 to over 300, including a flexible membership offering, while the greens’ staff has expanded from one employee to a team of six. As well as golf, The Point offers a health club, restaurant, new bar and holiday accommodation.
The club is also involved with the local community and runs the annual Polzeath beer festival alongside Get into golf activities which introduce about 100 people to golf each year.
“We are happy to be different and break with tradition,” said Jeremy Davies. “But at the same time we retain the true spirit of the game.”
Senior captain Rick Ferrant added: “They have improved the club, the course and the facilities and at the same time they have cultivated a fantastic spirit among the members. I drive 160 miles to come and play golf and it’s honestly worth it.”
The club was just one of many winners at the 2017 England Golf Awards at Lord’s.
“This is our chance to applaud the fantastic achievements of our players, volunteers, clubs and counties,” said England Golf CEO Nick Pink.
“They are a true inspiration to people to take up and play golf and share the pleasures of this great game.”
The ‘Lifetime Service Award’, sponsored by Your Golf Travel, was won by Jenny Hobbs of Bath Golf Club, Somerset, who has shared her love of the game for over half a century by supporting her club, county, regional and national organisations.
The ‘Volunteer of the Year’ is Jenny Davies of Bondhay Golf Club, Yorkshire, who has built up a fantastic junior section over the last four years and who also encourages the parents to play.
The ‘Young Ambassador of the Year’, presented in association with the Golf Foundation, is Emma Anderson of Sherwood Forest Golf Club. She volunteers widely to encourage new players, especially girls.
The ‘Club Coach of the Year’ is Ben Knight of Chartham Park Golf Club, Sussex, who works both at the club and in the wider community to introduce golfers of all ages to the game.
The ‘Strongest Community Engagement Award’ went to Hollingbury Park Golf Course Brighton, Sussex. It’s open to the whole community and it constantly looks for new ways to introduce people to golf and its wellbeing benefits.
The ‘Most Welcoming Golf Club’, sponsored by american golf, is Fynn Valley Golf Club, Suffolk. There’s a very warm welcome for golfers and non-golfers at Fynn Valley and an emphasis on having fun.
Justin Rose, an England Golf ambassador, received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for a career which also includes US Open and Ryder Cup triumphs. next generation of golfers.
Danny Willett was named ‘Player of the Year’ for his superb 2016 and, in particular, his Masters victory, which he defends next month.
Bronte Law of Cheshire took the ‘Women’s Player of the Year’ award after a final season of amateur golf when she was ranked world number two, was the top women’s US college player, the European amateur champion and a key player in England’s European team championship win and GB&I’s Curtis Cup victory.
Charley Hull’s rapid rise to the top was recognised with the ‘Spotlight Award’. The audience was reminded how, after winning her first national title at the age of nine, she become England’s top woman amateur at 15, the LET rookie of the year, the youngest-ever Solheim Cup player, the youngest winner of the LET Order of Merit and, most recently, an LPGA winner.
And the ‘Team of the Year’ was the England side which won the European women’s team championship for the first time in 23 years: Emma Allen, Alice Hewson, Bronte Law, Meghan MacLaren, Lizzie Prior and Olivia Winning, coached by Steve Robinson and captained by Anne Baines.