Golf Foundation Ceremony: Awards and winners

The Golf Foundation has celebrated the heroes behind grass roots junior golf with ‘The Golf Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony sponsored by Greenside magazine and supported by The European Tour’, at Wentworth prior to the BMW PGA Championship.

The Gus Payne Trophy is awarded to the club that raises the most money for the Golf Foundation’s golf initiatives. For 2008, the award went to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews for donating £4,636. The club was one of the first to sign up whole-heartedly to the Golf Foundation’s ‘Commit to Junior Golf’ campaign.   

The Sinclair Award, for the PGA professional who has carried out junior development work of real excellence, went to Leanne Cooper, assistant professional at Llanwern Golf Club in Wales.

The Gallacher Award for the volunteer of the year was presented to Cheryl Pawley of Cookridge Hall Golf Club in Leeds. Through Cheryl’s work Cookridge Hall became the first golf club in the North East of England to achieve GolfMark accreditation. Working alongside PGA coaches she has helped introduce many young people to golf through Tri-Golf sessions in local schools and the creation of a Tigers Club, a pre-membership group held at a nearby 9-hole course with 40 members. There is also a website for juniors and she has welcomed more girls and children from minority ethnic groups into the club. The Bonallack Award for a great school and club programme was presented to Droitwich and Worcester School Sport Partnership, which achieved 100 per cent coverage of every school in the partnership (48 schools, including five special schools).

The Laddie Lucas Award for the best local initiative went to Tapton Park Golf Club in Derbyshire, which has actively engaged with 23 local schools through club volunteers, young leaders and the PGA professional, creating a number of golf festivals in the process with follow-on coaching at the club.

The Critchley Award for the best major project was presented to the Wrexham County Council Golf Development Group. The Wrexham team broke a world record for the biggest ever mass golf lesson – 802 participants – and by working with so many schools it is retaining many youngsters in golf.

The Burroughs Award, for an individual who has done so much for helping disabled golfers, was presented to PGA professional Jon Woodroffe, who made a great impact in Kent, working with four special schools and coaching students who have behavioural or learning difficulties and physical disabilities.

The Mackenzie Award highlights how golf can be used to promote positive life messages to young people, a focus of the Foundation’s ‘Skills for Life’ mission. This year’s winner – Breakthrough Golf in South Gloucestershire – supported young people facing exclusion from school by using golf to change behaviour. The project worked with a group of 15-year-old disruptive students.

The Sir Henry Cotton Award for long-term service to junior golf was won by David Houlihan. As Portsmouth Golf Club’s secretary for 25 years (he left the post in 2006 and remains a trustee) David Houlihan took tremendous steps to develop junior golf in the city, both at his home club which saw junior membership treble in his time, and also in the wider community.

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