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Strawberry Hill Golf Club wins national recognition

July 28, 2014

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.

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