The competition, which is in its second year, was launched in the summer to find the club steward at the 19th hole who provides the most welcoming and enjoyable experience for golfers.
Nominations were received for stewards from all over England with the number of votes increasing by over 250% when compared to the competition’s inaugural year 2007. Golfers were asked to vote for their favourite steward and the initial short list identified three top candidates in each of the four EGU regions, North, Midland’s, South East and South West. These final candidates were then judged against their standard of service and presentation, as well as their flair, innovation, dedication and commitment.
Steve, or Russ as he is better known, was recognised as the North Regional Winner and his attention to detail and the way he has managed to transform the atmosphere of the club house also ensured he also took the national top prize. Steve, or should that be Russ, received over 120 votes of support from members and golfers at Eaton Golf Club, one of the highest number received for any single club steward.
After presenting Russ with his award John Roberts, Managing Director of the Fuller’s Beer Company, commented, “The response to this year’s competition has been overwhelming. The aim was to recognize those staff that are loved by their regulars, respected by their peers, and appreciated by visitors and Russ definitely fits that description as so many of Eaton’s members and visitors demonstrated.
“As the Official Beer of the EGU, London Pride is a perfect sponsor for Steward of the Year and we are proud to be supporting an event that rewards excellent standards of service, as well as flair, innovation, dedication and commitment.”
Craig Wagstaff, EGU Finance Director added, “Whether you’ve had a good or bad round, the service you receive at the 19th Hole, will affect your feelings on the day, and how you feel when you leave that golf club. Clearly those who know Russ at Eaton already appreciate his efforts and we are delighted at the EGU to be able to officially recognize Russ’s extraordinary service by awarding him the top prize.”
In addition to his trophy, Russ wins two tickets for a day’s play at a Lord’s Test Match, with two nights accommodation at a Fuller’s Hotel.
After receiving his award Russ said “This year I was more hopeful than expectant because there are a lot of great stewards out there. To have that many votes is unbelievable; I didn’t expect it as at the end of the day I was just doing my job. “The club will be overjoyed as it’s really good for them too. We’ve had a good year and this is a bonus.”
The other three Regional Winners were, for the Midlands, James Hilton of Trentham Golf Club; for the South East, Keith Sessions of Goring & Streatley Golf Club in Berkshire; for the South West, Clive Bailey of Willingcote Valley Golf Club in Devon.
The London Pride EGU Steward of the Year is part of a five year deal between Fuller’s and the EGU, which supports amateur golf and provides greater recognition to clubs and their members.