Monday, 5th December, 2016

County Durham club hits the mark with national golf award

Story published at 11:14, Tuesday, August 4th, 2015


 Phil Graham (right), county development officer for Durham, presents Houghton-le-Spring GC  with their GolfMark award with (left to right) Margaret Shaw, Business Development Team, David Freeman, Club Secretary, and Ann Young, Development Team and Committee

Phil Graham (right), county development officer for Durham, presents Houghton-le-Spring GC  with their GolfMark award with (left to right) Margaret Shaw, Business Development Team, David Freeman, Club Secretary, and Ann Young, Development Team and Committee

Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club in Durham, which is backing the drive to grow the game, has won a national award from England Golf.

The club, which was founded in 1908 and can be found at Copt Hill, Houghton-le-Spring in Tyne and Wear, has just received the GolfMark award.

GolfMark is an official seal of approval for clubs which successfully work to develop the game in four ways:

  • By attracting new members and encouraging existing members to play more
  • Using practical business planning to develop the club
  • Offering coaching and playing opportunities for all golfers
  • Ensuring safeguarding policies in place

The club has recently been awarded a Sport England Inspired Facilities grant to improve existing practice facilities and develop a six-hole pitch and putt course which would be  ideal to encourage those who have never played the game or those who wish to improve.

The club recently held an Open Day at their 18-hole course which showcased the facilities as well as promoting a variety of membership offers and coaching sessions.

Links are continually being developed between local schools and businesses with a view to ensuring the wider community have the opportunity to enjoy the facilities as well as the health and social benefits of playing golf.

Ann Young, who worked with Joanna Ellison and Vince Hodgson to lead the club’s push to GolfMark, said: “Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club is a great club; it’s very friendly, welcoming and forward-thinking.

“This award helps us to spread that message and to tell people that children are safe and secure here and that we understand how to encourage and support beginner golfers.”

The award was presented to Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club by Phil Graham, the County Development Officer for the Durham Golf Development Group, which works to grow the game across the county.

He said: “I’m delighted that Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club has achieved GolfMark and that its efforts to grow the game can be nationally recognised.

“As the first County Durham club to be accredited since the re-launch of GolfMark last year, on top of a successful Inspired Facilities application, the club should be very proud of these achievements.”

The GolfMark award was developed by England Golf and also integrates Sport England’s Clubmark award – a national standard for quality sports clubs recognised across the country.

GolfMark brings a number of benefits to clubs including raising awareness, access to funding, business and marketing support and training opportunities for staff and volunteers.

Almost 40 per cent of GolfMark clubs have increased membership since receiving the award. GolfMark www.golfmark.org

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