Hazel Grove named ‘English golf club of the year’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 21, 2022 12:20

Hazel Grove Golf Club in Cheshire has been named ‘Club of the Year’ at the 2022 England Golf Awards.

The parkland course – with views over Manchester and the Cheshire plains – prides itself on providing quality golf all year round.

Re-modelling of bunkers on the course and the provision of a new coaching facility complete with golf simulator proved a hit with members and guests.

Off the course, the club has really excelled in recent times with a new governance structure in place and coaching opportunities for young and old.

The club teamed up with the Stroke Association and a local NHS practice to offer lessons for a rehab group.

Image from Facebook

PGA professional James Rowlands and his team took coaching into the community by offering classes at local schools and colleges.

Club competitions are now open to men and women while the club has introduced gender neutral tees.

Hazel Grove has recently become the 400th English signatory to The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter – underlining its commitment to improving opportunities for females to play the game or to consider a career in the golf industry.

Led by a new management board and backed up by a far-sighted members’ council, Hazel Grove is in a strong position going forward to deal with challenges around club management, sustainability and membership.

PGA pro and club manager James Rowlands said: “It’s amazing – we’re overwhelmed.“We put so much work into this in the last two or three years to build up the club.

“We’ve re-structured the management board, we introduced equality and inclusivity in our competitions and we’ve worked with community groups and pushed to get SafeGolf and the Women in Golf Charter.”

Hazel Grove Golf Club. Image from Facebook

Chairman Michael Jones added: “Importantly this is recognition for the hard, hard work of employees and our fantastic volunteers who have taken this club forward and we’re in a really exciting place at the minute and long may it continue.

“Golf is a great sport and this is a great golf club. “

The other finalists were Bowood Park Hotel and Golf Club, a family-run club that offered free coaching to all juniors and sparked growth in membership from 187 to 350 in two years, Clitheroe Golf Club, which opened a PGA Golf Academy in 2021 and a new floodlit range, and Weybrook Park Golf Club, which completed a 27-hole complex expanding playing opportunities for members and visitors alike.

Other winners were:

Diversity and Inclusion Champion – Terry Kirby, Ganstead Park GC (Yorkshire)

Participation and Development Coach of the Year – Aaron Cox, Blackwell Grange GC (Durham)

Performance of the Year – England Women’s Squad

Sustainability Project of the Year – Farleigh GC (Surrey)

Tournament Venue of the Year – Farnham GC (Surrey)

Volunteer of the Year – Alan Plumb, Strawberry Hill GC (Middlesex)

Women and Girls’ Trailblazer – Hannah Crump, Stonebridge GC (Warwickshire)

Young Ambassador of the Year (in association with the Golf Foundation) – Kai Williams, Bedford and County GC (Bedfordshire)

Lifetime Service Award – Tommy Tulk, Long Sutton GC (Somerset).

England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson said: “It’s occasions like this which make me feel both humbled and proud to be involved with golf in England.

Image from Facebook

“Our wonderful game can only thrive if volunteers, coaches, club staff and county officials put in countless hours behind the scenes to improve the experience for all golfers.

“It’s important to shine a light on the work being done by those who do not court publicity, but who deserve to be recognised for their exceptional contributions.

“In England, we are extremely lucky to be blessed with so many incredible people who care so passionately about golf.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 21, 2022 12:20
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