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Top award for Derbyshire golf volunteer
March 3, 2011

A leading golf volunteer from Derbyshire has scooped a top national award. John Barker, from Tapton Park Golf Club, has been recognised for his development work at the Chesterfield club where the number of junior players has risen from just 12 to more than 100.

John was presented with the Club Development Award at The National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa, at the annual Golf England Volunteer of the Year Awards.

John has been involved in Derbyshire golf for more than 20 years, during which time he has encouraged thousands of children to play golf.

John Barker receives the Club Development Award at The National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa, at the annual Golf England Volunteer of the Year Awards
John Barker (left) receives the Club Development Award at The National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa, at the annual Golf England Volunteer of the Year Awards

Commenting on his award, John said: "This award is about Tapton Park, the whole team who work so hard to create such a friendly atmosphere for new players."

John, who works as Partnership Development Manager for the Bolsover & District Schools Sports Partnership, plays his golf at Tapton Park Golf Club.

The four handicapper is also Chairman of the Derbyshire Schools Golf Association and represents Tapton Park on the Executive Committee of the Derbyshire Union of Golf Clubs, having worked for two years on their Coaching Panel.

John is also Chairman of the Derbyshire Golf Schools and Community group and sits on the Management Group of Derbyshire Golf.

He became the chair of the Junior section of Tapton Park in 2005, when there were only 12 boy members, and he helped the club to achieve GolfMark status by 2007.

By the time the club was awarded the national title 'Golfmark Club of the Year' in 2008, there were 100 plus junior members, including more than 20 girls.

John has instigated or supported the development of an array of coaching and competition initiatives for children and adults of all abilities at Tapton.

There is an accent on family golf at the club, encouraging juniors to mix with the adults in competitions.

School golf and young leadership volunteering opportunities are both close to John's heart. Every year, the club hosts a golf festival for 18 local primary schools, where everyone at the club, from the juniors up to the club professional, provides a warm welcome to the visiting youngsters.

John and Tapton's motto is "Going from good to great", and this reflects his county golf work which stretches back over 20 years, in which he has encouraged several thousand children to play golf.

Commenting on the award, Derbyshire Golf development officer Nigel Furniss said: "When you meet John Barker you just get a feel good factor, his positive approach and passion for creating opportunities for young people is infectious.

"This has rubbed off at Tapton Park Golf Club who, in my opinion, have one of the best Junior Golf programmes not just in Derbyshire but nationwide. The results of this work are beginning to show as young players from Tapton Park were prominent in winning prizes in the Derbyshire Golf Junior Order of merit last year and are now forcing their way into county squads."

John Barker commented; "I am deeply honoured to accept this Award on behalf of Tapton Park, but keen to stress that without the work of many parents and other members, the club would not have made the progress of the last few years. It very much represents the work of a closely knit team."

The Derbyshire Golf Partnership is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the English Golf Union, The English Women's Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Derbyshire the partnership is supported by the Derbyshire Ladies County Golf Association, the Derbyshire Union of Golf Clubs and the Derbyshire PGA.

For more information on the work of the Derbyshire Golf Partnership contact Nigel Furniss, County Development Officer, Derbyshire County Golf Partnership, by email at, call 0787 1260430, or visit

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