England Women’s Royal County Down triumph named ‘Performance of the Year’
Thursday, April 21st
The England Women’s Team claimed Performance of the Year as England Golf honoured the great and good in amateur golf last night.
The six-strong side won the European Championship in brilliant fashion, defeating perennial powerhouses Sweden at Royal County Down in July. The Swedes were going for their fourth successive victory.
In other categories Cheshire club Hazel Grove were named Club of the Year while Kent picked up the County of the Year. A total of 11 prizes were handed out at the dinner, presented by BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty.
“Team spirit” was behind the victory at the legendary Irish venue according to Curtis Cup star Caley McGinty, who was also nominated in the Performance category alongside Essex teenager Harley Smith – The England U-18s and U-16s champion – and Buckinghamshire’s Rosie Bee Kim, who won the R&A British Girls U-16s and England Girls U-14s.
“I think from the beginning of the week we had the belief that we could win,” said McGinty.
“It was a case of taking it step by step and we didn’t treat the final against Sweden differently. Then we realised what we were playing for – a gold medal. That, with the team spirit, enabled us to get the win.”
Full list of winners
• Club of the Year: Hazel Grove GC (Cheshire)
• County of the Year (in association with Your Golf Travel): Kent Golf
• 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)
Hazel Grove were selected ahead of Bowood Park Hotel and Golf Club (Cornwall), Clitheroe (Lancashire) and Weybrook Park (Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands). See video below to see the moment they discovered they had won.
PGA pro and club manager James Rowlands told England Golf: “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.”
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. “
Kent’s men’s and women’s unions were merged two years ago and county has put a big emphasis on diversity with two junior academies for golfers with disabilities recently opening at Kings Hill and Stonelees.
Kent chairman Peter Long told England Golf: “We’re doing further launches of junior academies and will take our women and girls programme forward. We will invest in our clubs and we have issued grants to develop golf. All our efforts are going into grassroots golf.”
Middlesex and the Cambridge Area Golf Union were also nominated.
For further details on the winners visit https://www.englandgolf.org/news/