The Golfas Winners 2014

The Golfas Awards in Association with National Club Golfer Magazine

The 2014 Winners:

Green Teams | sponsored by  

Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumbria

Case Study: Built on land leased from the National Trust, the green keeping team work hard to enhance sustainability by recycling clippings as compost, encouraging wildlife areas and fitting automated irrigation systems.

What the Judges said: A number of things caught the eye, but the main thing was how in tune the green keeping team are with the business, social and environmental aims of the club.  There is sound reasoning behind all the activity and the real sense that the green keepers are working for the good of the club, local community and the course.

A word from the winner: “I’m over the moon.  I’m the youngest head green keeper in the country.  There are bigger clubs with bigger budgets, but to win this shows the hard work is paying off.  It has topped off the season for us” – Stuart Imeson

Club Secretary | sponsored by  

Chris Chance, Conwy

Case Study: Chris Chance has implemented a proactive scheme to ensure the club is a welcoming environment.  An Extensive procedure shows attention to detail, while innovative ideas maximise membership potential.

What the Judges said: Chis has an excellent process on feedback situations and the communication plan could be used as a manual for golf clubs globally.  The second-club membership model is something that would be useful elsewhere, while the implementation of reduced fees until 34 is very important as it is the risky fall-out age for golfers.

A word from the winner: “We want to encourage more youth because the youth profile of the club is important.  We have made a surplus for the last three years, which is a difficult thing to pull off, but keeps the course at the standard it needs to be.”

Club Professional

Alan Fletcher, Girton, Cambs

Case Study: Since joining the club in February 2013, Alan has seen an increase in the junior section from 4 to 42 players, while overall membership has increased by 104.  The team constantly searches for better ways to engage, including a Pro Shop Challenge.

What the Judges said: Hugely impressive work with the junior section.  What also stood out was how an outstanding pro can give a club real energy – it’s a great example of how you can work closely with your members but also draw custom from further afield simultaneously.  The extensive programme to support winter activity is excellent.

A word from the winner: “Golf clubs can be a scary place so a lot of the things we do are from a social aspect.  We need to be a modern club with fresh ideas and I think it is about making it a really inclusive place for members and families.”

Member | sponsored by

Alistair Tait, Fortrose and RoseMarkie, Highlands

Case Study: The lack of PGA professional has not stopped the club achieving the status of Scottish Golf Development Centre, and this is due to the efforts of 67-year-old Alistair Tait, who has given hundreds of hours to develop the club’s junior section.

What the Judges said: If only every club had a clone of Alistair, then the picture of golf in this country would look a great deal healthier.  The youngsters at Fortrose and Rosemarkie are truly fortunate to benefit from this kind of enthusiasm and determination to succeed.

A word from the winner: “I’m like many people who have got so much enjoyment from the game; they want to ensure the children of today have better opportunities.  We have excellent facilities and a great team and the children enjoy themselves.”

Golf Resort (Ind) | sponsored by

Celtic Manor, Newport

Case Study: Sustaining the reputation of the resort after hosting the Ryder Cup in 2010 was always going to be a challenge and a slight revenue downturn in 2012 has been successfully counteracted with a series of improvements and resort developments. 

What the Judges said:  When the television cameras and crowds had left, the hard work began to sustain the incredible public profile and reputation that the resort had gained.  The challenge was overcome by developing the strengths that had made the venue so successful in the first place, with personal touches making each guest feel like a VIP.

A word from the winner: “We’re delighted and it is very pleasing to hold off such strong competition.  Four years on from holding a Ryder Cup described as the greatest ever, it is very satisfying to still be picking up accolades of this stature.” – Will Hewitt

Golf Resort | sponsored by 

Machrihanish Dunes, Argyll

Case Study:  For such remote resort to thrive, the team have taken steps to partner with local transportation companies to make access easier, while also increasing the visibility of the club as a scheduled events and non-golfing activities encourage longer stays.

What the Judges said: It was clear that the biggest challenge faced by this resort was transportation, as its remote location was both its best asset and biggest challenge.  The team have put an incredible amount of work into developing partnerships with local transport links, while ensuring the resort’s quality justifies the travel time.

A word from the winner: “It’s an honour to be chosen as the best resort and a result of the club care and attention afforded our guests and club members from the amazing men and women that work at Machrihanish Dunes.” – David Southworth

Lead Sponsor:


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