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Dukinfield Golf Club gains GolfMark accreditation

9th December 2012
Dukinfield Golf Club with its GolfMark accreditation (left to right) former junior organiser Alan Brierley, junior organiser Martin Brennan, council member Martin O'Keeffe, Centenary Captain Colin Kenworthy, President Alec Stead, Lady Captain Sandra Barker and some of the club's junior players

A CHESHIRE club has marked its centenary year by receiving national recognition for its child and beginner-friendly approach after a bold initiative to attract new juniors.

Dukinfield GC, which can be found in Yew Tree Lane in the Manchester suburb, has been awarded GolfMark , a seal of approval for junior and beginner-friendly facilities which play an important role in the development of the game.

GolfMark is a national scheme that incorporates ClubMark and recognises initiatives 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.

The club, which was founded in 1913, filled all its available junior places for the year thanks to the efforts of junior organiser Martin Brennan and PGA professional David Green and the support of club members.

Dukinfield made a proactive decision to waive the £120 fee for juniors and also offered free coaching as part of their plans to introduce a new generation of players into the sport.

Says club council member Martin O'Keeffe: “We were delighted with the response, the enthusiasm of the youngsters and the support of the club in making this all possible.”

Fund-raising events like a race night and raffles by sections such as the seniors and ladies helped fund the junior section, which offers coaching from the age of eight upwards.

The club also plans out a shortened version of their par 70 parkland course, with forward tees, while also encouraging parents to walk the course while their children are playing.

Adds Martin O'Keeffe, himself a former junior member of the club: “Dukinfield is a very friendly and welcoming club and we want not only the youngsters, but their parents too, to feel at home with us.

“ The shortened layout gives them a taste of being out on a real course without overwhelming the younger players, giving them an opportunity to develop their skills in the right way.”

The club has also organised novelty events such as golfer-non-golfer to help make the sport as accessible as possible to people of all ages and abilities.

They now intend to use their GolfMark accreditation as a platform to increase their engagement with the local community.

Adds Martin O'Keeffe: “I think we have a social responsibility to work with the local community to offer a facility they can use.

“ A lot of hard work by a lot of people went into achieving GolfMark and now we want to use it to promote the club and the sport to as many people as possible and to show how golf can offer a healthy and sociable lifestyle.”

The club has undergone a number of significant improvements in the past decade.

It has opened a new clubhouse and six new holes to increase its overall length of the course to 6,048 yards. It has also created a number of practice holes, which have further enhanced the coaching offer at the club.

Says Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership: “Dukinfield Golf Club members have shown a very positive and innovative approach to the challenge of attracting new players to the sport.

“ The decision to waive junior fees served as a marker for their commitment to junior golf and the support of the members in raising funds for the junior section is to be commended.

“ GolfMark means a parent dropping off their child knows they are in a positive environment with the emphasis on the right care and responsibilities.”

Notes
GolfMark is an initiative jointly provided by the EGU and EWGA via the England Golf Partnership's ‘Whole Sport Plan' for golf and is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership's vision to ‘Grow the Game'.

The England Golf Partnership (EGP) brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf and the PGA, to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

County Golf Partnerships, involving the county men's women's and professional organisations, are part of the EGP's Whole Sport Plan for golf and an integral part of its vision to make England the world's leading golf nation by 2020.

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

For more details of the activities in Cheshire visit www.cheshiregolfpartnership.com

For more information on the work of the Cheshire Golf Partnership contact Craig Thomas, County Development Officer, Cheshire County Golf Partnership.

Website: http://www.cheshiregolfpartnership.com/

Mobile: 07973 798483

Email: cheshirecdo@googlemail.com







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