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Izaak Walton Golf Club receives GolfMark award
March 1, 2012

A Staffordshire golf club is proving a class act when it comes to introducing more people to the sport.

Izaak Walton Golf Club, at Stone, has received GolfMark - a national award for clubs at the forefront of developing the game which recognises junior and beginner-friendly facilities.

The award means that parents are safe in the knowledge that the club has the right duty of care and child protection policies in place alongside its positive coaching structure.

Head professional Ben Delderfield-Brown has been busy building links with local schools during the past year and it has been paying dividends with an increase in junior membership.

But Izaak Walton is not just about helping children into the sport.

"We are a club for all," says PGA professional Ben. "We cater for all categories of golfer from all ages and backgrounds. While we have done a lot of work with the local schools to help youngsters into the sport, we are also focussing on running more beginner classes for adults and Get into Golf schemes which make it very easy for anyone to give the sport a try."

Ben has taken Tri-Golf, a fun version of the game for primary school pupils, into around 10 schools as part of the club's project the grow the sport, which will see that work extended into the secondary schools and universities in the area during 2012. The club has hosted county and regional Tri Golf competitions.

The club runs a Junior Academy to help youngsters develop their technical skills, but also puts the emphasis on players showing the right personal skills, such as honesty, respect, self-motivation, concentration and perseverance.

"Golf offers much more than just the game itself and we show the youngsters how to respect their fellow competitors and companions out on the course and behave in the right manner," adds Ben.

"Golf has been very well received in the primary schools, the children really enjoy it, and the club is seeing the potential long-term benefits in that we are attracting new memberships from families, and not just the children themselves.

"GolfMark now gives the club a good foundation from which to build."

Says Sean Hammill, county development officer for the Staffordshire County Golf Partnership: "Izaak Walton have taken a very proactive approach to ensuring they meet the stringent criteria for being awarded GolfMark, which means everything is in place for young people to enjoy their golf in a positive environment.

"GolfMark gives the club a platform from which to extend its reach by helping people of all ages into the sport to enjoy the health and social benefits that its brings, too."

GolfMark is a national scheme that incorporates ClubMark and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities that focus on Coaching and Playing, Club Environment and Child Protection, and Duty of Care, all of which are extremely important to parents and children alike.

GolfMark is an initiative jointly provided by the English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women's Golf Association (EWGA) via England Golf's 'Whole Sport Plan' for golf and is an integral part of England Golf's vision to 'Grow the game'.

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

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

For more details of the activities in Staffordshire visit .

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