Norwood Park’s reward for being ‘welcoming’

England Golf Development conference 2014
England Golf Development conference 2014

Southwell’s Norwood Park Golf Centre has been recognised as one of the country’s most welcoming clubs.

Their record of attracting and encouraging new golfers and juniors has helped to make Norwood Park the joint runner-up in England Golf’s prestigious 2014 GolfMark Club of the Year award, supported by Cobra Puma Golf.

Their success was announced at an awards dinner and Norwood Park general manager Paul Thornton, who also chairs the Nottinghamshire Golf Partnership, said: “This is fantastic.

“We’re a young club, only 15 years old and always set out to be a very friendly, welcoming place where everyone is equal. It is a real team effort at the centre and we try very hard to put development at the heart of all we do”

GolfMark is an England Golf initiative, which recognises junior and beginner-friendly clubs. This award, now in its sixth year, applauds GolfMark clubs which have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to developing the game.

Norwood Park, which holds a High Achiever GolfMark, has bucked the national trend and has increased its membership over the past two years and increased participation.

It offers a complete pathway for beginner golfers with a driving range, par three academy course and 18-hole course

It’s a Get into Golf centre for the Nottinghamshire Golf Partnership, offering low-cost structured coaching as part of a national campaign to inspire more people to take up the game.

Norwood Park has close links with local schools which have helped to create a flourishing junior section with about 70 members.

The club is also working hard to encourage girls to play golf through numerous initiatives and currently has an impressive 15 girl members, all aged under 16.

The members are very supportive of efforts to encourage new golfers; three former junior members have recently taken their Level 1 volunteer coaching courses and now support the club’s PGA professionals.

The first Men’s Midweek Medal Qualifier of the season at Rufford Park Golf Club saw John Stoppard win Division One with a very respectable nett 69.

Phil Barnfather took second place with a nett 71 and Mick Gwynne was third on a countback from Martin Edwards, each scoring nett 73s.

Robert Lilley recorded the best nett of the day with 66 to win Division Two.

Peter Smith was second with a nett 68, Paul Benson came third with a nett 69 and Mike Kennedy was fourth with a nett 70.

John Stoppard scored a gross 73, the best of the day.

The Men’s Lombard PGA Pro-Am Qualifier Medal Qualifier was won by Aiden Perkins with a nett 64.

Lee Mellors and Malcolm Bevan scored nett 68s respectively and Anthony Brown was fourth with a nett 69. Aiden Perkins scored the best gross with a two-under-par 69.