Strawberry Hill Golf Club wins national recognition

Strawberry Hill Golf Club wins national recognition

Strawberry Hill Golf Club in Twickenham,
South-West London, has been recognised as one of the country’s most welcoming
clubs.

Their excellent record of attracting and encouraging new golfers
and juniors has helped to make Strawberry Hill the joint runner-up in England
Golf’s prestigious 2014 GolfMark Club of the Year award, supported by COBRA PUMA
GOLF.

Their success was announced at an awards dinner yesterday and
Strawberry Hill vice-captain, Alan Plumb, commented: “This is very good news for
the club.”

GolfMark is an England Golf initiative which recognises
junior and beginner-friendly clubs. This award, now in its sixth year, applauds
GolfMark clubs which have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to
developing the game.

Strawberry Hill, which holds a High Achiever
GolfMark, is over 100 years old and it used the GolfMark process to plan for the
club’s second century. They’ve set out to be a family-friendly club which
welcomes and encourages newcomers of all ages to the game – and they have bucked
the national trend by arresting a decline in membership.

The club has a
nine-hole course and uses that to promote themselves to people who are short of
leisure time to play 18-hole golf. “Our strapline is: Short of time? Nine is
fine!” said Alan Plumb.

Strawberry Hill has developed strong links
within the local community and offers an annual open day, taster sessions and
coaching programmes for both adults and juniors.  These include group coaching
for local schools and children with special educational needs.

During
the winter months up to 50 boys and girls were turning up for the weekly
sessions and the club’s junior section is steadily growing.  Get into golf
sessions for adults, run through the local County Golf Partnerships, are proving
particularly popular with women.

It has good practice facilities and a
grant from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund contributed to a new
all-weather practice tee.  A total of around 3000 visits were made to the
practice range for coaching in the last year.

“We try to play to our
strengths,” said Alan. “GolfMark has given us a lot of confidence and tells us
we are heading in the right direction.”

The GolfMark Club of the Year
awards were announced last night at a gala dinner at the England Golf County
Development Conference at Staverton Park in Northamptonshire. The winner was
Cookridge Hall Golf Club, Leeds, and the co-runners-up were Norwood Park Golf
Centre in Nottinghamshire.

Presenting the awards, Craig Verrinder, UK and
Ireland Marketing Manager for COBRA PUMA GOLF, said: “We are delighted to be
able to recognise the outstanding efforts of Strawberry Hill Golf Club to grow
the game.

“COBRA PUMA GOLF are proud to continue supporting the
GolfMark programme and helping golf grow across the UK.”

Richard Flint,
Club Services and Development Director for England Golf, commented: “Strawberry
Hill Golf Club are to be congratulated for their flexible, welcoming approach to
attracting and retaining new golfers.

“England Golf continues to invest
in resources, such as GolfMark and their County Golf Partnership network, to
ensure golf clubs can benefit to maximum effect.”

Image (© Leaderboard
Photography): Alan Plumb (left) and junior organiser Margaret Bedford are
presented with Strawberry Hill’s award by England Golf chairman Graham
Yates.