Leeds GC is England Golf’s ‘Club of the Year’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 23, 2018 13:02

Leeds Golf Centre has been named ‘Club of the Year’ by England Golf at a glittering awards ceremony.

The centre’s open door policy helped it to an amazing year when it welcomed new golfers and members, made improvements and planned more that could create 30 new jobs

The award, at the ‘England Golf Awards’ was sponsored by HowDidiDo.

Guests at the black tie event at the Royal Lancaster London applauded the centre and the judges commented: “Leeds Golf Centre demonstrate an enthusiasm for developing golf across all ages and abilities and successfully cater for what their customers want.

Leeds GC’s operations manager Nigel Sweet (right) with Gordon J Brand

“This is a continually improving club with some great initiatives to get more people playing golf, resulting in a big increase in membership.”

“We are open to everyone, that’s what is special about Leeds Golf Centre,” said operations manager Nigel Sweet, a former Yorkshire champion and now a senior professional. “We want to get more people into the game of golf.

“We’re all golfers, we all have a vision for golf and we are all passionate about it – and we think golfers know what golfers want.”

The centre, which includes Wike Ridge Golf Club, has an 18-hole course, a 12-hole par three course and a driving range – and there’s plans to make it even better. The owners are set to invest £9 million in developments including a two-tier driving range and 38 lodges providing golfers’ accommodation and the project is forecast to create 30 new jobs.

Meanwhile, the professionals take the game to schools and offer coaching opportunities to those who would like to learn more. As a result, there are many enthusiastic young players and every Sunday about 50 youngsters turn out for the weekly Tiger Cubs competition on the short course; some are members, some just pay their £3 to take part.

Adults get their share of attention too. The centre has worked hard to understand its customers and developed options to keep people playing more often, such as weekday roll-ups, nine-hole competitions, member / non-member events and weekend competitions for women

A programme for novice golfers has proved hugely popular, offering an eight-week series of two-hour lessons which ends with a short-course competition – and a prize for the winner of a year’s membership. Other coaching opportunities are designed for groups such as students and people with disabilities.

The centre also works closely with the Princes Trust, helping people aged 11 to 30 who are unemployed or struggling at school to transform their lives.

In addition Leeds Golf Centre cares about the environment with features including water recycling, a remotely activated sprinkler system, lakes which provide wildlife habitats, electric golf buggies and eco-friendly lighting throughout the club.

Plus the club has continued to grow its partnership with David Leadbetter, arguably the most recognised name in golf tuition, reaffirming its status as the UK headquarters of The Leadbetter Golf Academy. In addition, Leeds Golf Centre has begun an application process to extend its existing facility into a multi-million-pound golf complex, complete with accommodation lodges, spa, fitness facilities and driving range expansion, with work scheduled to being in autumn 2018 with estimated completion in 2020.

Naveen Ahmed, managing director of The Parklane Group, owner of Leeds Golf Centre, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our club, we are delighted to win this celebrated award. We took over the club when it was on the verge of bankruptcy and members were leaving at a rapid-rate. Our experience is property, so our first challenge was to get our staff and existing members to believe in our vision for Leeds Golf Centre – which was to make golf at our club accessible to everyone.

“I’d like to say a special thanks to Nigel Sweet and his team who have worked tirelessly to create the ‘Club of the Year’, a well-deserved recognition of hard-work, dedicated and passion that has made everyone proud of our club in Leeds. Having this recognition by England Golf means the world to all of us.”

Joe Feather and Nigel Sweet from Leeds Golf Centre celebrate with their Club of the Year award

This year’s runners-up for Club of the Year were: Burghill Valley Golf Club, Herefordshire, Garforth Golf Club, Yorkshire and Styal Golf Club, Cheshire

Other winners included Golf at Goodwood, Sussex, which won ‘Most Welcoming Club of the Year’; Matthew Turnock of Mottram Hall Golf Club, Cheshire, who won ‘Coach of the Year’; Liam Ridgill of Drax Golf Club, Yorkshire, who won ‘Young Ambassador of the Year’; Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, Suffolk, which won ‘Championship Venue of the Year’; Jean Hooper of Bramley Golf Club, Surrey; who won ‘Volunteer of the Year’, Middlesex, which won ‘County of the Year’; Lily May Humphreys of Stoke by Nayland Golf Club, Essex, who won the ‘Rising Star Award; Tommy Fleetwood, who won ‘Performance of the Year’; and Anders Mankert of Cosby Golf Club, Leicestershire, who won the ‘Lifetime Service Award’, sponsored by Bridgestone’.

Nick Pink, chief executive of England Golf, said: “This is a time to shout about all the really exciting achievements in golf.

“We’ve got so much to be proud of – our finalists and winners are amazing and their stories deserve to be told far beyond the golf community. And, behind them is a whole army of volunteers, coaches, clubs and counties who are also making a huge difference.

“We have an enormously exciting future ahead, with lots going on to change the image of the game. By working together we can build on all our achievements and spread the message that golf really is a game for all, with huge benefits for everyone.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 23, 2018 13:02
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1 Comment

  1. Kelly February 23, 14:01

    Leeds whoop whoop. ( all Leeds aren’t we)

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