The Cheshire club has worked closely with EGU/EWGA Regional Development Officer John Stoszkowski to develop its junior section which now has more than 50 members and their own website.

The English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) GolfMark Award (incorporating Sport England’s Clubmark) was re-launched in March 2006 as the national accreditation scheme identifying junior and beginner friendly golf facilities. Nearly 500 golf clubs have registered for this initiative with 100 now awarded, demonstrating their willingness to develop and showing a commitment to junior golf and the future of their golf club. 2008 to date has seen 48 golf clubs receive their award and this figure is expected to increase throughout the year.

Richard Flint, Golf Development Manager commented: “The EGU/EWGA are thrilled with how the GolfMark Award is progressing, with 100 golf clubs now awarded and many more to follow. Through the County Golf Partnership structure it is hoped that even more golf clubs can be supported through this vital development tool.”

Phil Kirkham, spokesman for the Club said: “Working through the new GolfMark accreditation system has given us the opportunity to re-assess and develop all areas of our junior section. Golf Mark accreditation is the ‘icing on the cake’ which allows us to offer a complete golfing package for children of all school ages, in a friendly, safe and professional environment, which can only be good for them and the future of the game.”

The club in conjunction with the Golf Foundation is now developing a Junior Academy for youngsters. All new juniors receive a free 6-week coaching course and they have their own section called ‘The 29ers’.

Any affiliated golf club can apply to gain the GolfMark (incorporating Clubmark) Award and will be supported on the three key areas of Coaching Playing, Club Environment (including Sports Equity Ethics) and Child Protection Duty of Care. The initiative provides golf clubs with a focused and structured plan for future development as well as a comprehensive set of files that ensure continuity and effective monitoring and evaluation.

A GolfMark poster to promote the Award to members, parents and juniors is now available and can be displayed alongside the GolfMark certificate and plaque to promote the golf club’s hard work. Alternatively the poster is available in a downloadable format to distribute electronically.

EGU/EWGA Development Officers are available to support golf clubs from registration to accreditation to help them to strive towards ‘the ideal’. The benefits of GolfMark are not just upon accreditation but are evident when working through the process as it provides an opportunity to review and improve policies and procedures.

Details of the initiative, the clubs awarded and the benefits of receiving the GolfMark Award can all be found at www.golfmark.org

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