A golf club has been ranked among the elite in England.
Tynemouth Golf Club has been presented with the GolfMark, SafeGolf and Clubmark awards by England Golf – the amateur game’s governing body.
And the club has been praised “as a place where there are no barriers”.
Tynemouth Golf Club is only the seventh of 42 clubs in Tyneside and Northumberland to receive the recognition following a rigorous assessment.
It had to demonstrate that it was attracting new members whilst encouraging existing members to play more; it was providing coaching and playing opportunities; Tynemouth was using practical business planning to develop the club, and its safeguarding policies were in place.
Phil Graham, England Golf’s Club Support Officer, handed over the award, highlighting the club’s success in introducing newcomers to the sport and helping them reach the necessary standard to become members.
He said: “We’re trying to change the perception of the sport; and to do that we need more clubs like Tynemouth.
“There’s a warm atmosphere here. It’s a welcoming club. It’s a place where there are no barriers. Even as a novice you are made to feel part of the club.
“The work around recruitment – especially last year – was fantastic. The Ladies Academy led the way providing an excellent route into the game for beginners.”
Earlier this month Tynemouth Golf Club put on a free taster session, which is being followed up with a five-week Get into Golf programme, which costs just £25.
It is working with Tyne Metropolitan College to develop a golf programme for students with disabilities and has been chosen as one of the clubs to take part in a project called Girls Golf Rocks, which starts in May, and aims to encourage more girls and young women (eight to 15 years) to try the sport.
Until the end of March it is also offering a special offer for all new members to the club. They will receive a 15-month membership – running from April 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020 – for the cost of 12 months.
Tynemouth Golf Club captain David Wakenshaw, who has been a member for nearly 30 years, said: “The award reflects the hard work of everybody and hopefully it will help move us ahead in the future, which is what we want to do. The club’s in great health and laying the foundations for a super future.”
The GolfMark award was developed by England Golf and also integrates Sport England’s Clubmark award - a national standard for quality sports clubs recognised across the country.
GolfMark brings a number of benefits to clubs including raising awareness, access to funding, business and marketing support and training opportunities for staff and volunteers.
There are 152 GolfMark accredited clubs in England. Almost 40 per cent of GolfMark clubs have found an increase in membership since receiving the award.