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Time to nominate heroes of junior golf

 

PGA Members are being encouraged to put their nominations forward for this year’s Golf Foundation Presidents’ Awards, which celebrate the excellent coaches who encourage more young people to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport.

The Golf Foundation is expecting to receive ‘outstanding nominations’ again this year for the national charity’s awards, which are presented during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on September 18.

In recent years the Foundation team has welcomed winners to the stage at Wentworth who have moved the packed audience to tears with their stories of just how much shaping the future of young players has meant to them.

The most prestigious honour is the ‘Sir Henry Cotton Award’ which is for outstanding service in the development of young golfers over a sustained period of time.

Last year Tom Bowen, of North Wales Golf Club, was presented with the Gallacher Award. Bowen, whose father had passed away in February last year, overcame a debilitating mental illness thanks to golf and, after passing his PGA Level 1 volunteer coach award, he is currently on the path to becoming a fully-fledged PGA Professional.

Darren Game, PGA Professional at Bourne Golf Centre, Lincolnshire, was presented with the Burroughs Award for creating opportunities for those with special needs.

The Sinclair Award is given to a PGA Professional who has made a significant impact in the development of grass roots junior golf. In 2018 it went to Zachery Marsh from Mark Janes Golf Academy at Tonbridge Golf Centre in Kent who has introduced more 1,500 youngsters into the sport over the last 12 months.

The ‘Laddie’ Lucas Award celebrates a project that has created more opportunities for girls and this year’s winner was a partnership between Elsham Golf Club and ‘This Girl Golfs’ Project in north Lincolnshire.

PGA Professionals Dane Duffin and David McNicholas are based at Elsham which links to three local secondary schools. The club offers taster sessions for 400 girls followed by a six-week StreetGolf satellite club. To date, 51 girls have completed the course.

There was also cause for celebration for Tom Hide and Scott Rusbridge after the Coastal Golf Academy at Frinton Golf Club won the Bonallack Award.

With a closing date of Friday, July 5, 2019, the Foundation is urging supporters to consider applications soon if they would like to nominate exceptional individuals or projects for one of 10 prestigious awards on offer at the ceremony – which will be staged at Wentworth on Pro-Am Wednesday (September 18) on the eve of the BMW PGA Championship.

Stephen Lewis, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, said: “The Presidents’ Awards have become a celebrated date in the diary for many of the most influential people in golf, not least for those most important influencers of all, the volunteers, coaches, club staff and project leaders, whose passion is crucial to the success of the Golf Foundation’s work in making the game accessible and enjoyable for the next generation.

“We have received outstanding nominations during the last few years, which have produced so many inspirational stories. We can only select 10 award winners of course but we do stress that their work also highlights the efforts of so many of the friends of this charity who all do so much to support young people in the game. Thanking these people is a wonderful opportunity for all present at Wentworth and a privilege for the whole Golf Foundation team. For making this event possible we are hugely grateful to both the European Tour and Wentworth Club.”

The closing date for nominations is July 5, 2019, and anyone can take part in this process. Nomination forms can be completed at https://www.golf-foundation.org/about-us/presidents-awards/2019-presidents-awards-how-to-nominate/