Over 200 people enjoyed the hospitality of The Belfry at the Warwickshire Golf Awards evening last Friday.
The achievements of all sectors of the game in Warwickshire during 2017 were recognised over the course of the evening. After a welcome from County Presidents Bob Harrison and Caroline Lassen, host Geoff Swain introduced the County teams and commented on their remarkable record over the last four years, and then the Ladies Player of the Year Liz Haycock from Ladbrook Park and Order of Merit winner David Atkins from Forest of Arden took their turns in the spotlight.
The five special awards were announced and presented by the individual sponsors.
Walmley Golf Club enjoyed a double dose of success with Course Manager Jamie Brooks taking the Greenkeeper of the Year Award and Tim Gilpin the General Manager/Secretary category.
In his presentation interview Jamie acknowledged the support that he has received from his greens team who were collectively responsible for the transformation of the course to its present level. He also paid a big compliment to his previous employers at The Belfry where he had spent 16 years learning his trade. In accepting The Manager of the Year award, Tim acknowledged the benefits of his experience with a corporate group before moving into the management of a members club.
Terry Smith collected The Junior Organiser Award in recognition of his 20 years + of dedication to the Olton youngsters, and explained how proud he was that many of the juniors he has helped during this time are now valued members and County players.
Arthur Barnett of Stratford on Avon Golf Club won the Unsung Hero title after many years of service as the meeter/greeter/starter at his Club. Arthur explained how much he enjoyed what he did and that he takes great pride that all golfers that play Stratford at least leave the first tee with a smile on their face!
‘Golf Professional of the Year’ was awarded to Ryan Burton of Ladbrook Park, marking his commitment to some exceptional major developments in all areas of the clubs activities. Ryan said “I’m delighted to have won The Golf Professional of the Year award at the Warwickshire Golf Awards 2017. Thanks to Ladbrook Park and the members for their fantastic support”.
Finally, two of Warwickshire’s national champions were interviewed and asked about their ambitions. Whilst Russian Amateur Champion David Atkins hoped to represent the country in the next Olympic Games, Max Martin, Welsh Youths and Ticker Trophy Champion was setting his sights on a place in the next Walker Cup team. Great ambitions indeed.
Winding up the evening, Warwickshire Golf Union County Secretary Matt Nixon congratulated the winners and thanked the sponsors and all who attended the event for their support.
WALMLEY AT THE DOUBLE
Walmley Golf Club enjoyed a double dose of success at the awards, following a clean sweep of nominees into all FIVE categories. Jamie Brooks took the Greenkeeper of the Year title, and Tim Gilpin collected the Manager of the Year Award (below).
Walmleys other three nominations for awards all lost out to winners with exceptional credentials and service longevity. Afterwards club chairman Andy Mitchell said, “This has certainly shown the rest of our peer group what a great club Walmley is and it reflects all of the hard work you have all put in to achieve this recognition. Many congratulations to all of you. I am one very proud chairman.”
In his presentation interview Jamie acknowledged the support that he has received from all sections of the club, but first and foremost, his greens team who were collectively responsible for the transformation of the course to its present level. ”If you think it’s good now” he said “just wait until next year”. He also paid a big compliment to his previous employers at The Belfry where he had spent 16 years learning his trade. The reciprocal cheers from The Belfry table were a great demonstration of his achievements and the respect with which this young Course Manager is held.
In accepting The Manager of the Year award, Tim Gilpin thanked the board, members and staff of the club for their support and is excitedly looking forward to helping take Walmley into the next stage of a major devolvement plan.
The achievements of all sectors of the game in Warwickshire were recognised over the course of the evening, and Walmley were well represented by Bob Soen and Mike Calvert who had played in the National finals of the English Seniors Championship.